Sebelius Defends Phone Calls To Urge Outreach Support
At a House hearing Tuesday, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said she did not seek funds from companies, but did ask them to support the outreach efforts of Enroll America, a nonprofit group. She told panel members she made five calls on behalf of the organization.
The New York Times: Sebelius Asked Companies To Support Health Care Law
Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services, disclosed on Tuesday that she had made telephone calls to three companies regulated by her department and urged them to help a nonprofit group promote President Obama's health care law. … At a hearing of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, Ms. Sebelius said she did not explicitly ask the companies for money, but urged them to support the work of the nonprofit group, Enroll America (Pear, 6/4).
The Washington Post: Sebelius Defends Obamacare Fundraising
Sebelius told members of Congress that she has made five outreach calls on behalf of Enroll America, a new organization that aims to increase public participation in the Affordable Care Act. … The secretary's outreach on behalf of the nonprofit came after Congress repeatedly denied requests from her agency to increase funding for the health care law. Without those additional funds, the department has said it lacks the resources to run a full-fledged campaign explaining the law to the public and promoting enrollment (Kliff, 6/4).
The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire: Sebelius Pressed On Health-Law Discussions
Ms. Sebelius said she only discussed funding with the tax-preparation firm H&R Block and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, two organizations that are not regulated by HHS. HHS acknowledged seeking funds from the two entities last month and has said the secretary hasn’t asked for any money from companies or entities the HHS regulates. Johnson & Johnson’s drugs and medical devices are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, which is part of HHS (Dooren, 6/4).
Politico: Kathleen Sebelius Defends Her Fundraising For Obamacare
Appearing before Congress for the first time since news broke about her calls to drum up support from outside groups, Sebelius on Tuesday had a slew of defenses ready to go. She said her calls were legal, appropriate and no different than what her Republican predecessors had done in similar situations. … Sebelius pointed to similar efforts by Mike Leavitt and Tommy Thompson, who are former heads of HHS and Republicans, to publicize the prescription drug benefit in Medicare Part D and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. And she said she had not solicited funds from groups regulated by HHS — but maintained that the Public Health Service Act allows her to if she wishes (Cunningham, 6/5).
Kaiser Health News: Health On The Hill: Sebelius Faces Questions About Fundraising Calls
Kaiser Health News staff writer Mary Agnes Carey talks with Jackie Judd about how Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius defended herself against criticism from congressional Republicans about her calls to outside organizations asking them to support outreach efforts by a nonprofit group (6/4).
Reuters: Sebelius Says She Talked To Health Firms On Obamacare Outreach
U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said on Tuesday that she talked to three healthcare companies about a private nonprofit group helping to implement healthcare reform, but she denied asking for donations. In her first public comments on an issue Republicans have sought to portray as a scandal, Sebelius vigorously defended her efforts to rally private support for a summer outreach campaign to persuade uninsured Americans to sign up for subsidized health coverage through new online state insurance marketplaces (Morgan, 6/4).
Bloomberg: Sebelius Called J&J, Kaiser, Ascension For Enroll America
U.S. Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said she talked with health-care companies she regulates, including Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), about helping a nonprofit group publicize the 2010 Affordable Care Act. Ascension Health, a Catholic health care system, and the nonprofit hospital and insurance company Kaiser Permanente were also urged to lend support, though no financial contributions were requested, Sebelius told lawmakers at a hearing today in Washington (Wayne, 6/4).