Another Controversy for the Obama Admin, But CNN Has Barely Reported This One
Obama's Secretary of Health and Human Services has come under major scrutiny for bypassing Congress and soliciting donations from health executives to help support ObamaCare, yet CNN has barely mentioned the story.
The Washington Post broke the news on May 10 that HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius had gone "hat in hand, to health industry officials" to support non-profits promoting ObamaCare. Republicans are questioning Sebelius seeking support from the very sector she regulates, and also want to know if she coordinated with the private sector to bypass Congress in getting financial support for ObamaCare. Also, if Sebelius sought donations as HHS Secretary and not as a private citizen, that would violate federal law.
NewsBusters already reported on Monday that the big three networks had basically shelved the story. CBS's Major Garrett did question White House press secretary Jay Carney about it on Tuesday, but Carney scoffed and compared it to the birth certificate controversy.
The story has been mentioned on CNN twice, and only once by a CNN figure. On May 14, senior political analyst David Gergen brought up the news, and on Sunday's Fareed Zakaria GPS, former Reagan chief of staff Ken Duberstein mentioned the story.
Gergen noted on Anderson Cooper 360:
"And there are Republicans who believe that Kathleen Sebelius as secretary of HHS going around asking for money from corporations to fund ObamaCare, when these are the very corporations that she's overseeing in a regulatory way, that that has all sorts of scandal implications. So I think – and especially in a slow news time, you know, it's not a big news time politically but it's a precious moment for the Obama administration. A lot depends on what happens in the next few weeks for him, for his whole second term."
As National Review reported, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said the fund raising could be a criminal violation if Sebelius is "coordinating" with the private sector "to do something that Congress has refused to do."
In addition, one of the non-profits Sebelius is fund raising for is Enroll America, run by a former Obama administration and campaign worker looking to sign up more Americans for health insurance under the President's law.