Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius violated federal law by using her Cabinet position to campaign for President Obama, federal investigators said Wednesday.
The Office of Special Counsel (OSC) said Sebelius violated federal law in a February speech where she made “extemporaneous partisan remarks.”
Sebelius voiced support for President Obama and other Democrats during an speech at a Human Rights Campaign event in Charlotte, N.C. The OSC said her comments violated the Hatch Act, which prohibits public officials from campaigning in their official capacities.
Sebelius strayed from her prepared remarks to rally support for Obama.
“One of the imperatives is to make sure that we not only come together here in Charlotte to present the nomination to the president, but we make sure that in November, he continues to be president for another four years,” she said, according to the OSC report.
She also ventured into state politics, urging the defeat of an anti-gay-marriage ballot proposal and saying it’s “hugely important to make sure that we reelect the president and elect a Democratic governor here in North Carolina,” the OSC report says.
Public officials are allowed to make political statements on their own time, but the Office of Special Counsel determined that Sebelius was appearing at the HRC event in her capacity as HHS secretary.
The investigative office said HHS reclassified the trip from “official” to “political” after Sebelius made the comments.
The Democratic National Committee also reimbursed the government for the cost of the trip, according to the OSC.
In a classic example of “She said what?” this week, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius explained that the population-controlling effects of the Obama Regime’s contraception mandate will compensate for its costs to taxpayers. Said the HHS Secretary:
“The reduction in the number of pregnancies compensates for the cost of contraception.”
Sebelius told a House panel Thursday that a reduction in the number of human beings born in the United States will compensate employers and insurers for the cost of complying with the mandate, which requires all healthcare plans to cover sterilizations and contraceptives – including those that cause abortions.
It appears that Barack Obama views birth control and abortion as effective strategies for reducing the cost of healthcare in the United States. Margaret Sanger would be proud.
If you’re unfamiliar with the real Margaret Sanger – founder of Planned Parenthood – check out How Much Do You Really Know About Planned Parenthood? Chilling stuff. (Not to mention, eerily similar to the Obama Regime’s line of population-control reasoning.)
Numerous lawsuits challenging the contraception mandate, which goes against the beliefs of Christians, assert that the rule violates the First Amendment’s guarantee to the free exercise of religion. Many of the nation’s Catholic bishops have published letters saying: “We cannot – we will not – comply with this unjust law.”
Sebelius, however, insisted that the mandate “upholds religious liberty.” (Liberal “logic.”)
“The rule which we intend to promulgate in the near future around implementation will require insurance companies, not a religious employer, but the insurance company to provide coverage for contraceptives,” Sebelius tried to convince the subcommittee.
Earth to Sebelius: The ridiculous fly in this disingenuous ointment – which the Regime completely ignores – is that “the insurance company” wouldn’t be in a position to provide contraception and sterilization were it not for the premiums it collects from the Catholic organizations. (Yeah, I know, Kathleen; your boss is once again counting on the stupidity of a majority of those who vote Democrat not to understand this.)
Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.) – not stupid – correctly pointed out to the HHS Secretary that contraception provided by insurance companies to employees of religious organizations under the revised mandate would not be free.
“Who pays for it?” Murphy asked. ”There’s no such thing as a free service.”
Sebelius responded that this is not the case with “insurance.” (Speaking to “the stupid.”)
“The reduction in the number of pregnancies compensates for cost of contraception,” she answered.
Murphy expressed surprise by the answer.
“So you are saying – by not having babies born – we are going to save money on health care?” he asked.
Sebelius replied, “Providing contraception is a critical preventive health benefit for women and for their children.”
Murphy again sought clarification.
“Not having babies born is a ‘critical benefit.’ This is absolutely amazing to me.” he said in disbelief.
Sebelius added, “Family planning is a critical health benefit in this country, according to the Institute of Medicine.”
Ask yourself, liberals: Who is the leading provider of birth control and abortions in the US? Where are the majority of its facilities located? If you need a hint or two, read this report.
Margaret Sanger would indeed be proud of the Obama Regime.
During a hearing on Capitol Hill Thursday, the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) admitted to double-counting in the Obamacare budget.
In her first appearance before the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee since the health-care law passed, Kathleen Sebelius responded to a line of questioning by Republican Rep. John Shimkus of Illinois about whether $500 billion in Medicare cuts were used to sustain the program or pay for the law.
“There is an issue here on the budget because your own actuary has said you can’t double-count,” said Shimkus. “You can’t count — they’re attacking Medicare on the CR when their bill, your law, cut $500 billion from Medicare.”
He continued: “Then you’re also using the same $500 billion to what? Say your funding health care. Your own actuary says you can’t do both. […] What’s the $500 billion in cuts for? Preserving Medicare or funding the health-care law?
Sebelius’ reply? “Both.”
The Obama administration and HHS have been criticized previously for double-counting. In a report last summer, HHS claimed a provision in the health-care law would extend the Medicare trust fund by 12 years. The Congressional Budget Office released a memo that said HHS’s math was more than a little off.
“[…] They cannot be set aside to pay for future Medicare spending and, at the same time, pay for current spending on other parts of the legislation or on other programs … To describe the full amount of HI trust fund savings as both improving the government’s ability to pay future Medicare benefits and financing new spending outside of Medicare would essentially double-count a large share of those savings,” said the CBO memo.
“I was shocked to hear the secretary admit that $500 billion is double-counted in the health-care law,” said Shimkus after Thursday’s hearing. “We knew the health-care law’s actual cost was much greater than originally told to the public. And now, the truth is slowly coming out in administration reports and testimony.”
Rep. Joe Pitts of Pennsylvania , the chairman of the subcommittee added, “The same dollar can’t be used twice. This is the largest of the many budget gimmicks Democrats used to claim Obamacare would reduce the deficit.”
UPDATE: When contacted by The Daily Caller, Richard Sorian, Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs had this to say:
“The scoring of the Affordable Care Act is entirely consistent with how legislation has been scored for the 30 years, under Presidents of both parties, and Congresses of both parties. Savings in programs like Medicare and Social Security are scored as improving the solvency of those programs and reducing the deficit.”