By Justin Sink
Sebelius has asked charities, business executives, and doctors to donate to groups helping to implement the health care overhaul.
“There is precedent for it, including in a previous administration, and so yes, I would say that when it comes to the Affordable Care Act, in keeping with an institution and House of Representatives with its leadership that has now voted 39 times to repeal something that the Speaker of the House himself said after the last election was law… demonstrates a political and partisan approach to some of these issues that isn't helpful,” Carney said.
The White House spokesman said officials in the Bush Administration made similar appeals for outside fundraising.
“We are aggressively engaging in a wide range of stakeholder conversations about the president's health care law, as was done… in previous administrations implementing Medicare Part D and the children's health insurance program,” Carney said.
Some Republicans, including Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), have argued Sebielus's efforts represent a conflict of interest with the doctors and medical organizations she is supposed to regulate.
“The Secretary’s actions show an apparent disregard for constitutional principles and may violate the Antideficiency Act, the prohibition against augmenting congressional appropriations, and executive branch ethics laws,” they wrote in a May 16 letter to GAO Comptroller General Gene Dodaro.