Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ favorite pro-Obamacare nonprofit held a Democrats-only congressional briefing earlier this year, according to emails obtained by nonprofit watchdog Judicial Watch.
Enroll America president Anne Filipic, a former Obama White House aide, exchanged emails with Debra Curtis, a Democratic staffer on the House Ways and Means Committee.
“They [House Democrat leadership] want to do another one next week while Congress is in recess that would be open [to] all House Democratic Staff to start getting folks up to speed,” Curtis wrote to Filipic in a Feb. 11, 2013, email.
“We’ll check IDs to be sure we’ve got all Dems coming as well,” Curtis added the next day while projecting that a 100 people would attend.
Enroll America, an activist nonprofit devoted to enrolling Americans in the Obamacare health insurance exchanges, has benefited from Sebelius’ fundraising efforts.
Congressional Republicans have opened an investigation into her requests that private donors contribute to the group.
“That the Secretary of Health and Human Services has now admitted to having pressured the very companies her agency regulates to get behind a non-government group in support of Obamacare raises even more ethical and legal questions,” Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said in a June 4 statement.
“The message being sent by the Obama administration is get behind this private group run by a former White House staffer and we’ll give you more favorable treatment when it comes to regulations. That’s bullying plain and simple and promotes a ‘pay to play’ environment that undermines the public trust in government,” Hatch said.
Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton described the email exchange between Filipic and Curtiss as indicative of “the shady politics attendant to [Obamacare's] passage and implementation.”