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In Healthcare Reform Fight, Sebelius is Latest Target

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media, May 29, 2013

Repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act won't come easily, if it comes at all. Now lawmakers are focused on whether Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius improperly solicited assistance from the healthcare industry to help implement the unpopular law.

The 37th attempt by the U.S. House of Representatives to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act passed earlier this month. But this bill, like its predecessors, is unlikely to be passed by the Senate.

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Frustrated House Republicans trying another angle, are now holding Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in their crosshairs as they look into reports that she may have solicited funding or assistance from the healthcare industry to help implement some of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Correspondence released Friday by the House Energy and Commerce Committee indicates that committee members are looking for answers about HHS fundraising efforts from 15 health insurance companies and organizations.

The letter was sent to Aetna, Blue Shield of California, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, Cigna, Coventry Health Care, Highmark, Humana, Independence Blue Cross, Kaiser Permanente, United Healthcare, WellPoint, America's Health Insurance Plans, the BlueCross BlueShield Association, H&R Block, and HCSC Group.

While efforts to reach health plans for comments were largely mixed over the long holiday weekend, a spokesperson for Blue Shield of California replied that although the health insurer is responding to the letter, "we were not contacted by the [HHS] Secretary or staff" for solicitation. Other health plans replied that they were unfamiliar with the letter. An AHIP spokesperson said the letter was still in the review process.

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1 comments on "In Healthcare Reform Fight, Sebelius is Latest Target"


mburns (5/31/2013 at 9:05 AM)
When congress votes to 'not' fund a project, you cannot go around them and get private money from somewhere else. Can you say Iran-Contra and Oliver North?