Health reform implementation

Rep. Camp subpoenas records on PR contracts for healthcare reform law

House Republicans issued a subpoena Wednesday in their investigation of public-relations contracts to help promote President Obama's healthcare law.

The Ways and Means Committee, led by Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.), issued the subpoena after previous requests for more information about the contracts went unanswered.

HHS has signed at least two PR contracts related to the Affordable Care Act — one to raise awareness of its new preventive benefits, and another to promote the federal insurance exchange that should be in place by 2014. States have also reportedly used federal grant money for PR contracts to promote their own exchanges. California officials said they hoped to get popular TV shows like "Modern Family" to incorporate positive mentions of the healthcare law.

Camp said HHS has not responded to his questions about contracts and whether they are an inappropriate use of taxpayer money.

"The lack of response leads me to believe that this Administration is either unwilling to disclose why they are using taxpayer dollars to market their unpopular law or are unable to keep track of how those taxpayer dollars are being spent," Camp said in a statement. "Either way, the American people deserve to know where their hard-earned money is going."

It's the first subpoena Camp has issued as Ways and Means chairman, the committee said in a statement.