A Senate committee is looking into the millions of taxpayer dollars being spent on ads to promote ObamaCare enrollment.
FoxNews.com has confirmed the Health and Human Services budget for “paid media” is about $35 million for the current enrollment period – focusing on the 38 states using HealthCare.gov.
But Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, raised concerns that agency ad spending is becoming a “black box” that is difficult to track. Citing a study that also showed the total federal government budget for ads and PR was nearly $1 billion in fiscal 2013, Hatch recently fired off a letter to the acting head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) asking for a full accounting of agency ad spending.
“Increased transparency on government spending on advertising will improve accountability and help ensure that the taxes from hardworking Americans are not squandered and wasted on ineffective or misguided government programs,” he wrote to Acting Administrator Andrew M. Slavitt.
Politico first reported that HHS was spending the $35 million to run ads in English and Spanish to encourage people to sign up. Hatch cited the report in sending the letter to Slavitt.
An HHS spokesman declined to provide details to FoxNews.com beyond confirming that CMS planned to spend $35 million on paid media advertisements. The department is also using email and social media, and is partnering with 30 women’s organizations to target women, but it remains unclear whether those efforts are included in the HHS advertising budget.
We've seen this game before: a Senate committee asks lots of questions, a federal agency/individual answers those questions, and no one does anything about it (IRS, Benghazi, the list goes on).
The fact is, no one in our government has the power to check the actions of the federal bureaucracy. They operate outside congressional oversight and outside the will of the American people. That's why a Convention of States is so critical at this point in our history. We the People -- acting through the states -- must stand up and stop the abuse of power running rampant in our national government.