by Arthur Seaton | December 07, 2013
The Affordable Care Act was signed into law in March 2010, and immediately, Health and Human Services began doling out money for advertising, hiring and training ‘navigators’ and promoting the law with HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius traveling around the country, giving speeches to communiy organizations and other supporters of Obamacare, as the law is known.
One of the laws biggest supporters has been Enroll America, a non-profit that has been involved in the planning and coordination of the new law from as early as 2009, holding webinars and forums in support of the law.
Most of the Board of Directors have close ties to the Obama administration. Secretary Sebelius even sought out donations from insurance companies that HHS would be regulating to give Enroll America. The president of Enroll America, Anne Filipo, worked for President Obama in the White House until taking over at Enroll America.. Enroll America, for their part, has denied any close ties to Obama.
Since the law was signed, over a $1 billion has been spent on it’s implementation and funding states.
Some states have gotten more than others. The difference in funding depends on the level of support Democrats get in each state.
On the other end of the spectrum, there’s Texas, with a population of 26 million people. Texas was given $1 million to establish it’s marketplace. For outreach and enrollment, the state is waiting on $9,907,738. There has been no timetable as to when the state will receive the money. Texas also received $8,151,185 for navigators.
California, with a population of 38 million , was given $910,606,370 to establish Covered Cal, it’s marketplace. California also got $21,931,657 for outreach and enrollment.
The health care law is becoming a political way to coerce a certain behavior from the states, and if they don’t comply, they apparently don’t get their Obamacare money, thus hurting the people of the state and the federal government blaming the Republican leaders for not getting the money.
Enroll America and HHS have had a very close relationship since planning for Obamacare began. When The Seaton Post sent a FOIA request for any email or other correspondence between the two, we were sent a letter that stated that no communications had ever transpired between the two.
As with Enroll America denying ties with the White House, here are a few of the Board of Directors with ties to Obama:
Enroll America was founded by Ron Pollack, executive director of the liberal advocacy group Families USA. Pollack, and remains the chairman of the group’s board, is has close ties to the White House. He has been a leading advocate for socialized health insurance for years. He is defending the close relationship Enroll America has with the Obama White House, saying “There has been cooperation since Day One … any way we can achieve cooperation, we are eager to do that,” he said.
In discussing the fundraising, Pollack says the group wants to expand their donor base.”Clearly we want the insurers, we want the hospitals, we want the different groups who frankly will be doing well by doing good.”
At the beginning of this year, Anne Filipic left the White House Office of Public Engagement to become president of Enroll America. Filipic served as Deputy Director of Public Engagement. In that role, she oversaw the team charged with building relationships with constituency group leaders across the country, connecting them and their communities with the programs of the federal government.
Prior to joining the White House, Filipic served as Deputy Executive Director of the Democratic National Committee and Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services. She also served on Obama’s 2008 Obama for America campaign.
Officials in the insurance industry believe the White House pushed for the change, fearing that the group’s origins in political advocacy were not ideally suited to the massive and focused enrollment campaign.
Chris Wyant, managing director at Enroll America, ran President Barack Obama’s campaign in Ohio. Wyant, a native of Cincinnati, had been working for Obama since 2007 and was the first person hired in 2008 for the president’s 2008 Ohio campaign. After leading the campaign field operation in eastern Ohio in 2008, Wyant went to Washington to work in the administration. Most recently, he served as chief of staff at the U.S. Trade and Development Agency.
Prior to joining Enroll America as it’s Constituency Engagement Director, Ashley Allison, was a Regional Field Director for President Obama’s Organizing for America, Coordinated the outreach for all constituency groups that participated in the 57th Presidential Inauguration. She also worked jointly with The White House and The Democrat National Committee to plan the National Prayer Service. Managed relationships with high level national surrogates.
Nancy-Ann DeParle, a former White House deputy chief of staff and director of the White House healthcare office, has made fundraising calls on Enroll America’s behalf.
Sister Keehan, a member of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul and the CEO of the Catholic Health Association of the United States,is on the Board of Directors at Enroll America. She is also a staunch ally of President Obama and his health care law.
With so many members of the staff at Enroll America having either close ties or friendships with Obama and other members of the White House, or have alliances to the Democrat Party, Congressional Republicans repeated their call for an independent investigation to determine whether Sebelius broke any laws, by soliciting for the donations.