Washington, DC — March 24, 2011
Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that it has filed a lawsuit against the Obama Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
to obtain records related to the creation and funding of advertisements pushing the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
(Case No. 11-608)). Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on March 23, 2011, which marked the one year anniversary of President Obama signing the Affordable Care Act into law.On December 15, 2010, Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with HHS seeking the following information: “All records concerning the creation and/or funding of advertisements on the Affordable Care Act.” On December 17, 2010, Judicial Watch received confirmation from HHS that its request was received. Judicial Watch received additional confirmation from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a component of HHS, on January 14, 2011. By law, a response to Judicial Watch’s FOIA request was due no later than February 14, 2011. However, to date, no documents have been produced. Moreover, HHS has failed to indicate when a response is forthcoming.In November 2010, Judicial Watch separately
obtained documents from the Obama Department of Health and Human Services regarding a series of three Medicare television advertisements featuring actor Andy Griffith. The Obama Administration spent $3,184,000 in taxpayer funds to produce and air the advertisements on national television in September and October 2010 to educate “Medicare beneficiaries, caregivers, and family members about forthcoming changes to Medicare as a result of the Affordable Care Act.”However, according to FactCheck.org
, a project of the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center, the advertisements intentionally misinform the American people:
Would the sheriff of Mayberry mislead you about Medicare? Alas, yes. In a new TV spot from the Obama administration, actor Andy Griffith, famous for his 1960s portrayal of the top law enforcement official in the fictional town of Mayberry, N.C., touts benefits of the new health care law. Griffith tells his fellow senior citizens, “like always, we’ll have our guaranteed [Medicare] benefits.” But the truth is that the new [Obamacare] law is guaranteed to result in benefit cuts for one class of Medicare beneficiaries — those in private Medicare Advantage plans.
“The first year of Obamacare has been marked by lies, secrecy, and contempt for the rule of law. In light of the millions of dollars we know the Obama administration spent on misleading Andy Griffith advertisements, American taxpayers deserve to know just how much of their money has been used to fund Obamacare propaganda,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Today the courts have put Obamacare in legal limbo and the last thing the Obama administration should be doing is using taxpayer dollars to run an Obamacare misinformation campaign.”