Judicial Watch is actively investigating the implementation of the controversial Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare”, which was passed by a Democratic-controlled Congress and signed by President Obama in 2010. Using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Judicial Watch obtained documents from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regarding closed-door health care meetings with Vice President Joe Biden, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Obamacare Czar Nancy-Ann Min DeParle and union officials. Judicial Watch has also obtained thousands of pages related to the granting of waivers by the Secretary of HHS exempting companies and unions from the minimum annual cap on the amount payable to an individual in benefits. The records include internal HHS email correspondence and strategic documents, as well as email communications with unions and companies applying for waivers.
As part of its investigation, Judicial Watch has been focusing on the Obama administration’s push to promote Obamacare using taxpayer dollars. Documents obtained through FOIA have revealed a massive taxpayer-funded multimedia campaign at the Department of Health and Human Services, designed to promote Obamacare and other HHS policy initiatives. According to the records, the total cost of the campaign, which targets Obama’s electoral coalition, is authorized to reach as much as $200 million. Other sets of documents obtained by Judicial Watch demonstrated that the administration spent $3,184,000 in taxpayer funds to produce and air advertisements on national television in September and October of 2010, and spent $1,435,009 from October 2010 through February 2011 for online advertisements promoting Obamacare. The advertising push targeted Obama’s electoral coalition, and suggests that the online advertising campaign was adjusted to accommodate web traffic patterns caused by the mid-term elections. Judicial Watch is continuing to investigate the implementation of Obamacare and other initiatives at Health and Human Services.