HHS Is Reportedly Using Obamacare Outreach Funds To Undermine The Law

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, testifies before a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on FY'18 budget on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, June 15, 2017.    (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

The Department of Health and Human Services has been using government funding earmarked for efforts to educate Americans about the Affordable Care Act to produce anti-Obamacare online videos, according to a Thursday Daily Beast report.

The report, which cited several unnamed “sources at various agencies and on the Hill,” stated the department used its internal studio to film testimonials of people who say they have been hurt by Obamacare, which were then used to create more than 100 videos. HHS also used taxpayer money to pay for the travel costs of individuals who flew to Washington, D.C., to be interviewed for the videos, per the report. The department posts the videos to the HHS YouTube channel, describing the families and doctors as “burdened by Obamacare.”

The Trump administration has also used official Twitter accounts to promote Republican efforts to repeal Obamacare, while the HHS website currently features a banner that sends people to a page arguing that Obamacare has done “damage” to health insurance markets.

Democrats in Congress have asked the government to look into whether HHS is misusing the funds for an effort to sabotage Obamacare, per the Daily Beast.

Earlier this year, HHS also had pulled ads encouraging people to enroll in health insurance plans through the exchanges for 2017, saying that the department would not “continue spending millions of taxpayers’ dollars promoting a failed government program.” The department said at the time that it would return the costs savings to the U.S. Treasury.

As the HHS works to sabotage the ACA and Senate Republicans fail to agree on a plan to replace it, President Donald Trump this week suggested that Republicans just “let ObamaCare fail” and then eventually work with Democrats on a new law.

Read the full Daily Beast report here.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Caitlin MacNeal is a News Writer based in Washington, D.C. Before joining TPM, Caitlin interned and wrote for the Huffington Post, the Sunlight Foundation and Slate. She is a graduate of Georgetown University.
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