Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has gone, hat in hand, to health industry officials, asking them to make large financial donations to help with the effort to implement President Obama’s landmark health-care law, two people familiar with the outreach said. Her unusual fundraising push comes after Congress repeatedly rejected the Obama administration’s requests for additional funds to set up the Affordable Care Act, leaving HHS to implement the president’s signature legislative accomplishment on what officials have described as a shoestring budget.
Tennessee Republican [Sen. Lamar Alexander] compared the HHS secretary's requests for donations from insurance companies to the Iran-Contra scandal. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius might have broken the law by asking insurance companies to donate to outside groups promoting President Obama's healthcare law, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said Saturday. Alexander compared the fundraising to the Iran-Contra scandal. "Secretary Sebelius’s fundraising for and coordinating with private entities helping to implement the new health care law may be illegal, should cease immediately and should be fully investigated by Congress," Alexander said in a statement.
I realize scandal investigations are backing up like cars on the Beltway in rush hour, but this one seems like it should go close to the front of the line. We have an unpopular health-care bill with gross implementation and design problems that exceeds its budget. The solution? Stiff arm the industry for “contributions.” It’s apparent that both Obamacare and the HHS secretary operating it are out of control. Congress should investigate and any monies obtained in this fashion should be returned. Then we should pause, assess where Obamacare stands and figure out if it can be implemented without inflicting harm on 300 million Americans — or should I say, any more harm.
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography