Is Kathleen Sebelius Still Raising Money for Enroll America?
Enroll America is the supposedly non-partisan group that the Obama administration has tasked with selling Obamacare to a very skeptical America (55% wish the Democrats had never passed that law). But Enroll America isn't really non-partisan. Much of its staff came from Obama's campaigns, or from Democrat campaigns at the state level. Former White House deputy for public engagement Anne Filipic runs the group. It seems to have two missions -- promote Obamacare, and keep Democrat operatives employed between elections.
Kathleen Sebelius was caught helping Enroll America raise money last year, and that sparked calls for investigations in Congress. Sebelius was going to companies that fall under HHS regulations, Kaiser Permanente, Johnson & Johnson, and Ascension Health, and asking them to contribute to Enroll America, raising credible concerns regarding conflict of interest.
The Washington Examiner reports today that the Obamacare enforcer may still be soliciting funds from private enterprise to bankroll Enroll America.
Eight months after the news broke, Sebelius' spokeswoman last Friday sidestepped questions from the Washington Examiner on whether her boss has continued to solicit funds from outside groups for Enroll America's efforts.
“The secretary has engaged in a sustained, aggressive outreach campaign to reach as many Americans as possible during open enrollment,” HHS spokeswoman Joanne Peters said in an emailed statement Friday afternoon.
“We're [sic] have been working closely with a range of partners groups across the country to reach the uninsured, and to help get them enrolled in quality, affordable health insurance,” Peters continued.
She did not respond to a follow-up question specifically asking whether Sebelius has continued the fundraising.
Peters made the statement in response to several questions the Washington Examiner posed about the details of emails between Enroll America officials and Health and Human Services aides, including some with staffers from the White House Office of Public Engagement.
The emails, which the Washington Examiner obtained through a Freedom of Information Actrequest, reveal a close working relationship between top HHS aides, Sebelius, Enroll America and former White House aides on their fundraising efforts.
Sebelius' actions apparently violate the Anti-Deficiency Act, which prohibits government agencies from accepting donations.
Enroll America was recently caught on tape agreeing to help obtain a list of potential Obamacare enrollee data for political purposes, which is illegal.