The Washington Post reported Friday that Sebelius is asking private companies involved in health care to contribute to Enroll America, a nonprofit that is working to help implement the Affordable Care Act by enrolling the uninsured and educating Americans on the new law. Congress has turned down requests from the Obama administration for additional funds to help implement the ACA.
Alexander, the ranking on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, called for an investigation into Sebelius’ actions Saturday, saying it “may be illegal, should cease immediately and should be fully investigated by Congress.”
He compared such behavior to the Iran-Contra scandal, “when Reagan administration official Oliver North raised funds and directed their spending through private entities in support of Nicaraguan rebels even though Congress had refused to appropriate such funds.”
A report from the Joint Select Committee charged with investigating the Iran-Contra incident determined that “Congress’s exclusive control over the expenditure of funds cannot legally be evaded through the use of gifts or donations to the executive branch,” Alexander noted.
Alexander added that Sebelius’ actions also possibly violated “federal laws prohibiting raising private funds from those she regulates.”
HHS spokesman Jason Young told Bloomberg News that Sebelius had not solicited from any companies she regulates.