Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has gone, hat in hand, to health industry officials, asking them to make large financial donations to help with the effort to implement President Obama’s landmark health-care law, two people familiar with the outreach said.
Her unusual fundraising push comes after Congress repeatedly rejected the Obama administration’s requests for additional funds to set up the Affordable Care Act, leaving HHS to implement the president’s signature legislative accomplishment on what officials have described as a shoestring budget.
How Sebelius’ calls for help go….
“Hello? Is this the CEO of Alyant Medical? Hi. How are you? This is Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, the person with almost unlimited power to regulate your company. Yes, it is good to talk to you too.”
“Hey, I am in a bit of a pickle here. My boss wants me to run a bunch of adds promoting Obamaca… I mean the the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and I just don’t have the funds to do it. The Republican House just won’t cooperate, darn it.”
“That’s really the reason for the call. I am calling to ask you to contribute several hundred thousand dollars to the cause. It would mean a lot to me and, trust me, I don’t forget. I can’t tell you how disappointed I would be if you didn’t contribute.”
“Let me know by tomorrow, please. I need to get going now. I have a bunch of calls to make and then I need to get busy regulating. These sweeping new powers I have been given to regulate every aspect of the health care industry sure keep me busy. Thanks in advance for your help.”
Seriously, it won’t be that blatant but how could anyone fail to read that into it?