Skip to comments.GOP lawmakers believe over $1 billion spent to promote Obamacare
Posted on 04/08/2014 4:11:11 AM PDT by markomalley
Republicans are demanding greater transparency on how much the administration spent to promote and implement Obamacare -- and hitting back at President Obama's claim that he didn't make a hard sell.
The new effort comes after Obama's claim that the administration met its goal of enrolling more than 7 million people without spending billions.
We didn't make a hard sell, Obama said. We didn't have billions of dollars to spend on commercials like our critics did.
But both Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill estimate the administration has spent roughly $4 to 5 billion to get the Affordable Care Act running, including hundreds of millions to build and repair healthcare.gov.
Some Republicans point to outside estimates suggesting the administration spent more than $1 billion alone on promotional efforts -- including outreach, marketing and advertising -- to boost enrollment in the federal exchanges.
Critics say the administration is refusing to detail how money is being spent.
Taxpayers deserve answers, yet the Obama administration continues to evade questions about the true cost of implementing the Affordable Care Act, said Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., the ranking member on the panel that funds the Health and Human Services Department.
HHS is ignoring Congress request for information on how Obamacare funds are being used, and refuses to provide complete and accurate figures on the full cost of implementation to the taxpayers, he told the Washington Examiner.
HHS officials say that they have provided details on spending consistent with other routine budget requests.
HHS spokeswoman Joanne Peters said the department doesn't track money spent on a variety of promotional activities and said some Republican charges about the numbers are conflating other costs associated with implementing the law.
Republican aides counter that the department refuses to say how much it spent on fixing healthcare.gov alone and doesn't keep track of spending on promotional efforts outside of direct advertising.
Maybe the president should have called me for the numbers, said Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., who chairs the appropriations subcommittee that funds HHS, referring to Obama's statement that he didn't have billions to counter critics. Kingston believes over $1 billion has been spent on promotional efforts alone.
I could have told him about the $774 million he requested for advertising and outreach in his budget or the $684 million already spent and the additional $52 million spent on celebrity endorsements of Obamacare.
Kingstons figures are based on the $774 million he says Obama requested for outreach and advertising in his fiscal year 2015 budget request, an Associated Press article that makes a blanket estimate that the administration will spend $684 million on Obamacare advertising and promotion in its first year, and a Fortune magazine article citing the $52 million spent so far this year on ads including NBA star LeBron James and other athletes.
Peters said that, in addition to advertising, the $774 million the president requested includes money to fund Obamacare call centers, navigator grants and funding for other in-person assistance for consumers, as well as printing and distribution costs for notices the law requires applicants and enrollees receive.
After pressing for spending on promotional activities, GOP aides say officials at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, responsible for implementing the law, recently told Republican appropriators their agency obligated $77.4 million for advertising, including the late March push.
That number, Republicans argue, does not include hundreds of millions spent on outside outreach and advertising efforts.
States have their own marketing campaigns, estimated to cost in the hundreds of millions of dollars, although CMS doesn't track that spending. Some states received federal assistance for marketing in the form of federal grants.
The department also doled out $208 million in grants to more than 1,100 community health centers to promote the law. In addition, Planned Parenthood received federal money to host more than 500 events in 18 cities to promote ACA enrollment and dispatch 500 canvassers to knock on 20,000 doors to encourage sign-ups.
In 2010, when Congress passed the health care law, Democrats controlled both chambers and provided $1 billion to implement the law. But Republicans have refused to provide additional funding for implementation since taking back the House that year.
That effort has forced administration officials to get creative, moving money from different HHS departments around to pay for the law.
The administration's decision to divert more than $450 million from Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin's Prevention and Public Health Fund set off alarm bells with Congress voting to prevent future raids after the Iowa senator and others cried foul.
Congressional Republicans have repeatedly pressed HHS officials for a detailed accounting of how their money has been spent.
Lawmakers included a provision in this year's bipartisan budget deal that forced HHS to reveal more details on how the administration moved $1.6 billion from different department funds to pay for implementation. But so far they say the administration isn't sharing the level of detail Republicans sought.
As required, in early March the administration included a justification for its ACA spending in its budget request for fiscal year 2015. Republicans say HHS provided the least amount of detail possible there, providing information on large pots of funds used to set up and promote the federal exchanges but no specifics on the activities paid for.
Moran accused the administration of using smoke and mirrors to hide funding, and wrote to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on March 13 for more information.
Ellen G. Murray, the assistant HHS secretary for financial resources, responded to Moran's letter last week. She said the department provided details consistent with other routine budget requests and the standard set by the Government Accountability Office, Congress's auditing and investigative arm.
In response to requests for more specifics, Murray said HHS has obligated approximately $281.2 million on eligibility and enrollment activities and $665.5 million for IT activities. She said another $123.2 million was obligated for federal administration activities, which include employee salaries and benefits, as well as other overhead costs.
Moran and Kingston insist they will press for a more detailed accounting of spending, broken down by programs and projects.
Why are our GOPe Republicans complaining about it when they passed Paul Ryan’s “I don’t give a crap about the National Debt Anymore” Debt limit bill?
It cost Obama and the DNC NOTHING to have the EXEMPT GOP
support them because
ObamaCARE = RomneyCARE and the EXEMPT GOP LOVES RomneyCARE.
That’s a promotional cost of $1428.00 for each person who has signed up. Alive, dead, pets, illegal immigrants, prison inmates, move on.org, black panthers, et,al.
Egged on by Pelosi, Democrats voting in lockstep NEVER told Americans about Section 4002---which mandates an $8B untraceable fund to "promote" Obamacare (apparently b/c Boobamba had so little confidence in his signature legislation).
And remember, taxpayers....once in the hands of the Dummycrat criminal hordes, the tax billions are untraceable.
Q. Why all those O/Care delays, fixits, waivers, exemptions, extensions?
A. Because Obama is fulfilling his "dream" of a permanent Scummycrat majority; registering unsuspecting enrollees as Democrats.....not to mention wire-transferring billions offshore.
ACA SEC. 4002. PREVENTION AND PUBLIC HEALTH FUND.
(a) PURPOSE. It is the purpose of this section to establish a Prevention and Public Health Fund (referred to in this section as the Fund), to be administered through the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Secretary, to provide for expanded and sustained national investment in prevention and public health programs to improve health and help restrain the rate of growth in private and public sector health care costs.
(b) FUNDING.There are hereby authorized to be appropriated, and appropriated, to the Fund, out of any monies in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated
(1) for fiscal year 2010, $500,000,000;
(2) for fiscal year 2011, $750,000,000;
(3) for fiscal year 2012, $1,000,000,000;
(4) for fiscal year 2013, $1,250,000,000;
(5) for fiscal year 2014, $1,500,000,000; and
(6) for fiscal year 2015, and each fiscal year thereafter, $2,000,000,000.
(c) USE OF FUND.The Secretary shall transfer amounts in the Fund to accounts within the Department of Health and Human Services to increase funding, over the fiscal year 2008 level, for programs authorized by the Public Health Service Act, for prevention, wellness, and public health activities including prevention research and health screenings, such as the Community Transformation grant program, the Education and Outreach Campaign for Preventive Benefits, and immunization programs.
(d) TRANSFER AUTHORITY.The Committee on Appropriations of the Senate and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of may provide for the transfer of funds in the Fund to eligible activities under this section, subject to subsection (c).
healthcare.gov is also a voter registration site: Unsuspecting enrollees are being plugged into Democrat voter rolls.
Local couple upset after receiving pre-marked voter registration card from "Covered California" (Cali O/Care)
10news | 03-29-2014 | Preston Phillips / FR Posted by Kevin in California
A local couple called 10News concerned after they received an envelope from the state's Obamacare website, Covered California. Inside was a letter discussing voter registration and a registration card pre-marked with an "x" in the box next to Democratic Party.
And let's not forget the pricey "Louisisana Purchase."
THE PAPER TRAIL IS HUGE Sen Landrieu (Scumocrat-LA) sold her aye vote in what Forbes Magazine dubbed "The 'Louisiana Purchase" that included a massive $4.3 Billion to Landrieu.
FORBES REPORTED the Democrats nailed Landrieus support for Obamacare w/ a greenback bribe. Landrieu, critics believe, pledged her vote in exchange for some $200 million more additional federal funds for Louisiana. Except that, due to a drafting error, the law ended up giving Louisiana $4.3 billion: more than twenty times the assigned amount. MORE HERE http://www.forbes.com/fdc/welcome_mjx.shtml
How $4.3 billion to Landrieu was attached to the Obamacare bill, and how Obama and Reid failed to catch and fix it, is yet annother indictment of the Obamacare atrocity. The payoff to Landrieu should be investigated as an indication of how EVERY Democrat came to vote for Obamacare.
BACKSTORY In the fall of 2009, Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) was trying to get the necessary 60 Dimocrat votes to pass the Affordable Care Act. He needed every Dim on board, which gave waffling senators a great deal of leverage. In Landrieu's case, she connivingly saw that selling her aye vote could get her maybe $200 million federal dollars. Obama complied--- Reid chalked up another vote for Obamacare---and the $4.3 Landrieu giveaway was attached to the Obamacare bill.
<><> Where'd the money go, Harry?
The most transparent administration ever, and the blustering GOP capons. It’s a symbiotic relationship.
“No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.”
I challenge anyone to make the case that we are still a FreeRepublic.
We should call it GOPcare.
On the other hand, not a single GOP senator voted for it.
Hells bells ...
The man just opens his mouth and lies pour out.
Also, the WH now has the media subliminally promoting "Obamacare" (under that name) by positive mentions in the course of ordinary mass-market programs.
A Freeper recently noticed a reference and commented on it, but didn't realize it was part of a campaign. I happened recall reading in the WSJ several weeks ago that a message had gone out from the WH to media companies asking them to promote it indirectly by slipping references to it into their programming. And of course, they complied.
They probably get audited if they don't, of course, but most of them are Obama groupies so they were probably happy to provide billions of dollars of free propaganda.
Admit it, though, it's much easier to tell when Obama is lying than with most politicians.
I mean...talk about transparency!
For Pete’s sake, focus on the party really responsible: the Dems. Not a single GOPer voted for it, but there weren’t enough of them to make a difference anyway.
The point is to get more Republicans elected so they have some clout again, not make oneself feel better with silly hyperbolic statements that sound like they were paid for by the DNC.
Well... THANKS for telling us!
WHY DIDN’T YOU JUST STOP THE FREAKING THING IN THE FIRST PLACE, IDIOTS???
The 'pubs want to use Obamacare expenses even though they funded it. This game isn't working for me anymore. RINOs would rather profit from the situation and use it as a campaign issue than solve the problem.
Same thing with the invasion of the US.
The GOP controls the house. The house controls spending. The house could impeach 0 for his many crimes. 0 and the Rats will do what they’ve always done. It’s up to the GOP to stop them in accordance to what they told us when we voted for them. All they do is talk crap. Then they stab us in the back when it’s time to actually do something.
I assume you’ve been paying attention the past 20 years, so how can you think that electing more Republicans will stop what’s going on?
Why can’t the House turn off the faucet??
Test for insanity - take a person into a kitchen with the water running into the sink and overflowing onto the floor. Does he grab a mop and begin mopping? or does he turn off the faucet first?
I’m of the opinion now that any Dept that refuses to answer questions from congress over it’s budget, should immediately have their funding reduced to zero until they answer. It’s OUR money, not the govt’s.
Sorry, in a 2-party system, it’s got to be REPUBLICANS. It’s nice if you can get a conservative Republican, but that happens in the primaries, not in the general election.
Numbers are all. If we have more Republicans and they abide by their party leadership and vote as decided, we win. Not a single Republican, even the most liberal of them, voted for Obamacare.
If we had had enough Republicans, that is, the majority, it wouldn’t be law now. And if we had gotten a big Senate majority, we could even have overridden a WH veto.
The important thing is to get Republicans elected to national office; the job of making sure they’re conservative happens at the state level. But even if they aren’t as conservative as you’d like on every issue, they must be elected nationally because otherwise we simply have no chance in what is essentially a game of numbers.