Cornyn, McConnell Express Concern Over Administration Pressure On Sports Groups to Promote Obamacare

WASHINGTON– U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) sent letters to the heads of the six major professional sports organizations expressing concern that they would agree to help the Obama administration promote new health insurance plans under Obamacare.

The letters were prompted by recent news reports that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was in talks with the NFL and other sports organizations in an effort to get them to help encourage people to enroll in new Obamacare health plans that are set to begin Jan. 1.

“Given the divisiveness and persistent unpopularity of the health care [law], it is difficult to understand why an organization like yours would risk damaging its inclusive and apolitical brand by lending its name to its promotion,” the senators wrote in letters that were sent to the commissioners of the National Football League, Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, National Hockey League, Professional Golf Association and the chairman and chief executive officer of NASCAR.

The senators wrote that Obamacare remains “deeply divisive and unpopular” more than three years after the law was enacted and that this was one of the reasons why Congress has resisted providing the administration with funds it has requested to promote Obamacare. It is also one of the reasons, according to the letter, that the administration is approaching major professional sports organizations to help pitch Obamacare enrollment.

The law was enacted on a strictly partisan basis and Republicans unanimously opposed it based on evidence that it would raise health care costs, increase taxes, raid Medicare to pay for a new Obamacare entitlement program and prompt the federal government to intervene in Americans’ personal health care decisions.

Cornyn and McConnell wrote that they have long been concerned by the Obama Administration’s record of using the threat of policy retaliation to solicit support for its policies or to silence its critics. They urged the heads of the major professional sports organizations to resist such pressure and to contact the senators immediately so they can investigate should the administration suggest that there will be any policy consequences for not participating in the Obamacare outreach efforts.

The senators said it was difficult to remember another time when major sports leagues took public sides in such a highly polarized public debate. “Yet given this administration’s public request of your assistance in promoting this unpopular law, we felt it important to provide you with a fuller accounting of the facts before you made such a decision,” they wrote.


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