HHS Broke Law in Promoting Obamacare Repeal, Democrats Say

Stay ahead of developments in federal and state health care law, regulation and transactions with timely, expert news and analysis.

By Alex Ruoff

The HHS violated restrictions on the use of federal funds to promote pending legislation when the agency publicly backed Republicans’ Obamacare repeal bill, four prominent Democrats told government watchdogs recently.

At least two of the Department of Health and Human Services’ official Twitter accounts have promoted the House-passed American Health Care Act (H.R. 1628), the ranking Democrats of four congressional committees told the Government Accountability Office June 13. The HHS also has posted videos messaging against the Affordable Care Act that appear to have been produced by the agency, which could violate federal laws against federal agencies engaging in covert propaganda, the lawmakers said.

The Democrats want the GAO to investigate whether the HHS broke any laws in promoting the AHCA. “We are especially concerned by these actions because they appear to continue a pattern of behavior by the department of using federal resources to advance partisan legislation,” they said in their letter.

The letter was signed by Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.), and Reps. Richard Neal (D-Mass.) and Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.).

A spokesperson for the HHS did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alex Ruoff in Washington at aruoff@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Brian Broderick at bbroderick@bna.com

Copyright © 2017 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Request Health Care on Bloomberg Law