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This site is the inspiration of a former reporter/photographer for one of New England's largest daily newspapers and for various magazines. The intent is to direct readers to interesting political articles, and we urge you to visit the source sites. Any comments may be noted on site or directed to KarisChaf at gmail.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Exclusive: HHS official found White House 'disarray' months before health law rollout -- By Susan Crabtree, The Washington Examiner

A senior Health and Human Services official was so frustrated last May over the White House's “disarray” on health care before the launch of Obamacare insurance exchanges that he warned of needing a “come to Jesus meeting” with his counterparts.

The comment from Anton Gunn, then-HHS director of external affairs, came in an email exchange with Anne Filipic, the president of the outside group Enroll America, a nonprofit with close ties to the White House that was formed to promote the fall Obamacare rollout and boost enrollment — an effort the two were working on closely.

While criticism of the botched healthcare rollout has focused on Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and her department's failures, the email exchange dated May 1 between Gunn and Filipic reveals that HHS officials harbored deep frustrations about the White House's own health care messaging and preparations in the middle of 2013, months before the troubled rollout.

The Washington Examiner obtained the email exchange, along with 257 other pages of documents in late January, through a Freedom of Information Act request submitted in June 2013.

Most of the emails also reveal a close working relationship between Sebelius, HHS aides, Enroll America and White House staffers on fundraising efforts to promote Obamacare enrollment.

News last May that Sebelius had asked business executives and nonprofit groups to donate to Enroll America provoked an uproar among Republicans on Capitol Hill. Watchdog groups allege her soliciting private donations to help outside groups boost Obamacare enrollment may be an unethical shakedown.

Several Republican senators who have looked into the propriety of Sebelius' fundraising to promote Obamacare say she attended a White House meeting with President Obama, other HHS and private foundations on May 1, 2013.

According to the GOP senators, the private sector’s work with Enroll America was discussed at that meeting.
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