Implementing Obamacare costs money. Congress gave Sebelius a hefty chunk of cash – estimated at about $1 billion – to administer the program. But it's not enough. One estimate says it may cost ten times that much to run the program over the next decade. Congress has refused to give her more money.
Not to worry. Sebelius came up with an ingenious but dubious solution – put the arm on insurance companies and healthcare companies to help foot the bill.
To a super-bureaucrat such as Sebelius, it must have made perfect sense. After all, the insurance companies will cash-in under Obamacare. It forces people to buy health insurance whether they like it or not. Healthcare companies, such as hospitals and other providers, stand to benefit from a steady stream of payments.
This blatant conflict of interest has landed Sebelius in hot water. As one of the most powerful bureaucrats in Washington, she is soliciting money from the very people she will regulate under Obamacare. How can they say no?
Sebelius has been asking industry executives for "contributions" to Enroll America, a nonprofit coalition of groups promoting Obamacare by educating the public about the law and working to enroll the uninsured.
Boards with Excecutives participating in this pay-to-play stuff ought to be wary and sensitve to where this will lead their brands. It's certain to be mud and tarnish.
Joe Walsh was going to pick up on this story on his show last night. Tangling Government and Government contractors/stakeholders together into a vast Politico-Medical combine threatens freedom more than some of these other scandels in the news. This ones big, entrenched, with hands deep in our pockets.
Also, from the LA Times, GOP slams fundraising, other efforts to promote Obama health law
Enroll America, created by Families USA Executive Director Ron Pollack, a leading consumer advocate, has become a key partner in the effort to get people to sign up for benefits. The relationship between the administration and Enroll America was strengthened last year when Anne Filipic, a former White House official, took over the organization.
The group, which raised nearly $5 million in 2010 and 2011, according to tax returns, brought together major health companies, including Aetna, CVS Caremark, Teva Pharmaceuticals and Express Scripts, with medical groups such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and consumer advocates such as AARP and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.
Enroll America's board of directors includes representatives of two insurance companies — Kaiser Permanente and Blue Shield of California.
All outfits ready to cash in big with Obamacare. Beware this collective.