GOP solicits insurers for info about conversations with HHS

House Republicans have expanded their investigation into the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, requesting that some of the biggest insurance companies provide them with information about the agency's fundraising efforts.

To further explore whether HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius inappropriately solicited health insurers for financial donations to help the agency implement the reform law, GOP lawmakers sent letters to 15 insurers, including Aetna, Cigna, UnitedHealth and WellPoint, according to a statement.

Members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee want to know whether Sebelius asked the companies to donate to Enroll America, a non-profit group that promotes health reform. The request includes "all documents and communications" that detail conversations with Sebelius about her request that they help the agency promote the reform law, the Washington Times reported.

GOP lawmakers are looking for the following information from insurers:

  • Whether the organization was contacted by the HHS Secretary, any HHS employee, staff, or official, or any individual acting on behalf of HHS relating to contributions to assist in the establishment and implementation of the PPACA
  • All documents and communications describing, memorializing, summarizing, or otherwise discussing any plans, commitments, or initiatives by your company to contribute to the implementation of the PPACA
  • All materials related to any meetings held at the White House on the implementation of PPACA

The letters were sent to Aetna, America's Health Insurance Plans, Blue Shield of California, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, Coventry Health Care, H&R Block, Health Care Services Corp., Highmark, Humana, Independence Blue Cross, Kaiser Permanente, UnitedHealth and Wellpoint.

To learn more:
- here's the House Energy and Commerce Committee statement
- read the Washington Times article