May 23, 2013 Leave a comment
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is charged with implementing Obamacare via regulation. She has an enormous amount of power to interpret the meaning of the 2,700 pages of Obamacare, to say nothing of the power to set up the bureaucratic apparatus of the bill. She and the Obama administration wanted more funds for Obamacare, in particular they wanted funds to advertise the “benefits” of Obamacare. (read: they wanted propaganda money) Congress has refused to fund such a program for Sebelius. So what did Sebelius and the Obama administration do? They created a non-profit called Enroll America to be the propaganda arm of Obamacare. Enroll America solicits private funds to push a government program that Congress has refused to fund.
Who Sebelius soliciting funds for Enroll America from? It just so happens that she’s soliciting funds from the very health insurance companies subject to her oversight and regulation. Sebelius has the power to deny health insurance companies approval for their exchange insurance policies. She has the power to regulate companies out of business. With that sort of power, a request (read: demand) from Sebelius to donate money to Enroll America has a certain air of inevitability. If Sebelius comes knocking on your door, a wise health insurance company cuts a check lest Sebelius deny approval for your health insurance policies under Obamacare.
Sarah Ingram once headed the IRS office involved in the targeting of Tea Party groups. She now just happens to head the Obamacare wing of the IRS. With the overreach of this administration concerning the Tea Party on the minds of health insurers, when Kathleen Sebelius calls demanding donations for Enroll America you can bet they cut a check immediately. The racket Sebelius is running is basically a domestic version of Iran-Contra wherein Congress refuses to fund something and high government officials use their office to force donations to fund what Congress refuses to.
If Sebelius were a private citizen, none of this would be a problem. She would have a right under the first amendment to solicit funds for whatever non-profit she wants. The problem here is that she’s the HHS Secretary in charge of regulating the health insurance industry and in charge of writing regulations for Obamacare. As a government official she’s seeking to circumvent Congress and use her position to coerce the companies she’s regulating into donating to a non-profit she has either set up or is otherwise associated with. The whole point of the non-profit is to circumvent Congress, which would be fine but for Obama’s political appointees and regulators soliciting funds for it. The threat here is clear, donate or Sebelius will use her position to regulate a particular company out of business.
Even if you think Sebelius would never use her position to threaten insurers, what she’s doing looks an awful lot like coercion. It doesn’t look good when the HHS Secretary solicits funds from the companies she regulates in order to fund a non-profit that seeks to promote a government program that Congress refuses to fund the promotion of. This looks dirty and it likely is. It may even be illegal for a Cabinet Secretary to circumvent Congress or otherwise use her position in this way. This is yet another example of the Obama administration ruling by intimidation.