House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders have expanded their examination into reports that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius may have solicited funding or assistance from the health care industry to help implement the health care law. According to The New York Times, an HHS spokesperson said Secretary Sebelius suggested health care executives and others support the work of Enroll America, a private nonprofit group dedicated to assisting the implementation of the health care law. The committee leaders are now seeking information from a total of 15 companies and organizations, in addition to requests for information from Secretary Sebelius and Enroll America. Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) is also part of a joint House and Senate request to the Government Accountability Office to determine if Sebelius’ solicitations violated any laws.
Among the questions committee leaders are asking the companies and organizations:
- “Was your organization contacted by the HHS Secretary, any HHS employee, staff, or official, or any individual acting on behalf of HHS relating to contributions to assist in the establishment and implementation of the PPACA?
- “Please provide all documents and communications describing, memorializing, summarizing, or otherwise discussing any plans, commitments, or initiatives by your company to contribute to the implementation of the PPACA.
- “Please provide all materials related to any meetings held at the White House on the implementation of PPACA.”
The committee has sent letters to the following 15 companies and organizations: Aetna, America’s Health Insurance Plans, Blue Shield of California, BlueCross BlueShield Association, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, Cigna, Coventry Health Care, Inc., H&R Block, HCSC Group, Highmark, Humana, Inc., Independence Blue Cross, Kaiser Permanente, United Healthcare, and Wellpoint, Inc.