Lawmakers threaten subpoena over Affordable Care Act PR campaign
Republican members of the House Ways and Means Committee have threatened to subpoena federal health officials to gain access to public relations contracts related to the Affordable Care Act.
The committee is giving the Department of Health and Human Services until Oct. 31 to turn over public relations contracts the department signed to raise awareness for the new healthcare law, The Hill reported. The Obama administration signed a $20-million contract earlier this year to publicize the law's preventive health services, which also prompted questions by lawmakers. More recently, the administration signed a $3-million PR contract to promote health insurance exchanges.
According to committee members Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI) and Rep. Charles Boustany (R-LA), the administration has failed to respond to previous requests for details. In a letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, they said “Either the department is unable to keep track of the work products it buys with taxpayer dollars or the department is trying to delay any response until after this year's election. Neither explanation is acceptable,” The Hill reported.