May 15-- U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., today joined his colleagues on the Senate Finance Committee in sending a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius demanding details of a fundraising scheme in which she has solicited funds from the health care companies she regulates to help launch Obamacare.
The Senate Finance Committee has jurisdiction over the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
In the letter, the senators asked for a top-to-bottom review of the Department’s decision to move forward with the fundraising scheme, which has raised numerous legal questions under federal regulations prohibiting the augmentation of congressional appropriations.
“As the Republican Members of the Senate Committee on Finance, one of the key committees of jurisdiction over health care issues, we were troubled by the news reports concerning your interactions with health care industry executives asking for donations of money to assist with funding for enrollment efforts related to the health care insurance exchanges,” the senators wrote. “Our initial reaction is that this appears at best to be an inherent conflict of interest and at worst a potentially illegal augmentation of appropriation.”
The Finance Committee members who signed the letter in addition to Isakson were Senators Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), John Thune (R-S.D.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.)