The federal government is in the early stages of exploring possible partnerships with professional sports leagues as a way to promote insurance options under Obamacare. “The NFL, the NBA, and others were contacted by the administration,” a spokesman from the NFL told BuzzFeed in an email. “We have made no commitments nor discussed any details with administration officials. We are in the process of trying to clarify what it is the administration would propose. There is nothing further to report.” An MLB spokesman said the White House also contacted them to schedule a meeting, but the meeting was postponed.
The top two Republicans in the Senate released letters Friday urging the commissioners of the National Football League and other major sports leagues not to promote the 2010 health care overhaul law. “Given the divisiveness and persistent unpopularity of the bill, it is difficult to understand why an organization like yours would risk damaging its inclusive and apolitical brand by lending its name to a promotion,” wrote Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Minority Whip John Cornyn of Texas in the letters, which were dated Thursday. “We have long been concerned by the Obama Administration’s record of using the threat of policy retaliation to solicit support for its policies or to silence its critics,” the two wrote.
Sure enough, the NFL has decided against going there. The Washington Examiner's Phil Klein received the following statement from a league spokesman:
We have responded to the letters we received from members of Congress to inform them we currently have no plans to engage in this area and have had no substantive contact with the administration about PPACA’s implementation.