Kathleen Sebelius Used Her Influence to Get Organizations to Donate to “Enroll America”

Perhaps you remember how “Enroll America” posed as a “non-partisan” organization when it was, in fact, nothing of the kind. Several months ago, the Weekly Standard wrote:

Enroll America boasts all manner of nonpartisan credentials. Most of its staffers seem to have worked in the nonpartisan Obama presidential campaigns of 2008 or 2012, often both. Its president, Anne Filipic, served as deputy executive director of the nonpartisan Democratic National Committee, and came here straight from the nonpartisan White House Office of Public Engagement. The nonpartisan Obamacare czar, Kathleen Sebelius (whom Filipic also worked for), has admitted putting the arm on companies to make donations to Enroll America, sparking several nonpartisan congressional investigations. 

It seems Sebelius resigned just before one of those investigations was due to issue a report. In the Washington Free Beacon, we read:

The White House and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) solicited millions in donations from private health care companies for a nonprofit organization to promote Obamacare, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

The GAO released a report on Monday following a request from Republican senators to investigate HHS’s coordination with Enroll America, a “nonprofit, nonpartisan” organization founded by former White House staffers.

The report noted that former HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius contacted the CEOs of five organizations last year to “solicit support” for Enroll America, which it would use to promote Obamacare.

Additionally, the report links the White House to Sebelius’ outside fundraising for the first time. A White House official contacted the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) asking for a “significant” financial contribution for Obamacare’s private national outreach effort. The White House had said they did not sign off on calls made by Sebelius.

So you have some of the most powerful people in the nation making requests for large monetary favors.

The “donations” should be called what they are: bribes. Sebelius requested bribes. She wanted the money to ensure her own political success and the success of the President.

Is it so hard to see why it is corrupt and wrong to have powerful national leaders soliciting millions of dollars from groups that are dependent on political good will?

Republicans have questioned the legality of HHS soliciting funding from private organizations since last May, when Sebelius’ fundraising push was first reported.

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R., Tenn.) said her actions could be illegal under the Anti-Deficiency Act, which prohibits government employees from making or authorizing funding that has not been approved by Congress.