Government by intimidation continues.
On the heels of the U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management’s escapade at the Bundy ranch that included snipers, a Government Accountability Office report finds government officials sought money from outside groups to fund a nonprofit organization’s effort to enroll Americans in ObamaCare.
Originally, it was thought the government’s effort to get financial support for the enrollment campaign was limited to former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius but the report found the fundraising included a White House official.
From Fox News:
According to the report, though HHS officials said they were “not aware” of any federal government officials outside the agency soliciting funds for Enroll America, a representative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation told GAO “about a discussion” in 2012 between one of their staffers and the “Deputy Assistant to the President for Health Policy.”
Though not named in the report, this would have been Jeanne Lambrew. The GAO said they were told the official nudged the foundation to give a “significant” contribution.
The report said: “According to RWJF, this official estimated that Enroll America or other similar national enrollment organizations would likely need about $30 million to finance a national outreach effort. RWJF told us that the official also indicated a hope that RWJF would provide a significant financial contribution to support such efforts, but did not make a specific funding request on behalf of Enroll America or any other outside entity.”
The White House apparently pushed back on this account, telling the GAO that the adviser did not give the foundation a specific estimate of how much money they needed.
RWJF donated $13 million to Enroll America – the organization that ran the enrollment campaign.
The government fundraising effort included H&R Block – a private company. HHS also sought “nonfinancial support, such as technical assistance, from Ascension Health, Johnson & Johnson and Kaiser, which consists of the Kaiser Foundation Health Plans and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals.”
Naturally, the Obama administration says its request for financial and other resources from companies it regulates was within the law.
Legal or not, the administration’s effort is clearly a shakedown scheme that carries a huge downside risk for companies that would dare to say no to Obama’s gangster government.