Congressman Asks NFL, NBA for Details of Any HHS Pressure to Promote Obamacare

Craig Bannister
By Craig Bannister | June 27, 2013 | 5:31 PM EDT

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) is asking the commissioners of the NFL and NBA for details of any pressure the HHS has put on them to help promote Obamacare.

In a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NBA Commissioner David Stern, Rep. Scalise today asked for further details on conversations between the leagues and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regarding plans to cheer on and help facilitate the implementation of President Obama's health care law.

Recent media reports highlight that the Department of Health and Human Services has begun talks with the NFL and the NBA to promote President Obama's health care law.

"I would caution you against being coerced into doing their dirty work for them," Rep. Scalise says.

"Considering the recent investigations into reports that Secretary Sebelius has blurred ethical lines by soliciting donations from businesses with matters before her agency in order to help promote components of President Obama's health care law, there is a disturbing pattern by the Obama Administration to inappropriately solicit support for their policies by entities that they oversee and regulate," Scalise says in the letter.

Scalise is seeking the answers to three questions from the NFL and NBA commissioners:

1.      Has the NFL or the NBA been asked by HHS to contribute funds or in-kind services to any third-party organization aiding in the promotion or implementation of PPACA? If so, please provide details.

2.      Has the NFL or the NBA been asked by HHS to encourage enrollment in the new health insurance exchanges or other aspects of PPACA? If so, please provide details.

3.      Given your previous and ongoing business with HHS and other federal agencies, do you find helping to promote the Obama Administration's most important legislative priority a potential conflict of interest? Please provide details.

The congressman urges the commissioners to reach out to him - even if they're afraid to respond in writing:

"Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or if you're uncomfortable responding in writing due to concerns about inappropriate or unwelcomed pressure from the Administration to cooperate with the implementation of PPACA.  I appreciate your prompt response."

Separately, Americans for Tax Reform has launched a petition drive for NFL fans to tell the league they don't "watch the NFL to be preached at" about Obamacare by the HHS.

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