Posts Tagged ‘Kathleen Sebelius’

Donations please: Sebelius jawbones health care execs

“Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has gone, hat in hand, to health industry officials, asking them to make large financial donations to help with the effort to implement President Obama’s landmark health-care law, two people familiar with the outreach said.” Congress had earlier turned down a White House funding request for the project, which among other objectives seeks to promote — sorry, “increase awareness of” — the new Affordable Care Act (ACA). Federal law sharply restricts cabinet members’ freedom to fundraise for non-profits while in office, but HHS spokesman Jason Young cited “a special section in the Public Health Service Act [which] allows the secretary to support and encourage others to support nonprofit groups working to provide health information and conduct other public-health activities.” In 2010 the Secretary, who holds wide discretionary power to make life unpleasant for health insurance companies, vowed strict measures against insurers that were undermining the ACA’s popularity by saying they were expecting the law to raise rates. [Sarah Kliff, Washington Post; Michael Cannon, Cato, and follow-up]

“Religious employers must cover pill, Feds say”

HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius said giving church-related sponsors of health plans an additional year to comply with the contraceptive mandate “strikes the appropriate balance between respecting religious freedom and increasing access to important preventive services.” Really? If religious freedom is in fact at stake, what kind of “balance” is attained if it gets a one-year reprieve but then expires? A balance between current freedom of institutional conscience and future lack of same? [AP] On the Obama administration’s remarkably unfriendly stance toward self-governance by church institutions, see my coverage of this term’s Hosanna-Tabor Supreme Court case. More: Michael Greve has a must-read analysis predicting the directive’s downfall in court, and pointing out the procedural dodginess of this and much other regulation implementing the ACA. And Thom Lambert asks: “What if the Government Ordered the Human Rights Campaign to Cover Conversion Therapy for Gays?”

Sebelius and health insurers: shut up, she explained

Eugene Volokh, Michael Cannon and Ed Morrissey react to the Secretary’s announcement that her Department of Health and Human Services will show “zero tolerance” for regulated health insurers who inflict “misinformation” on the public in the course of blaming ObamaCare for rate increases. More: Monday WSJ editorial (“Zero tolerance for expressing an opinion, or offering an explanation to policyholders? They’re more subtle than this in Caracas.”) And Michael Cannon at Cato at Liberty has a further roundup post of reactions.

Handing med-mal reform over to Sebelius

HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius, now detailed as Obama administration point person in charge of the demonstration projects on liability reform, spent eight years as executive director of the Kansas Trial Lawyers Association: “I think I’m just the person to do it because I think I understand the system of litigation very well.” Mary Katherine Ham: “Indeed, as I’ve consistently said, the fox is uniquely qualified to guard the henhouse, because he understands the delicious taste of poultry very well.”

March 22 roundup

  • No back-alley bikini lines: New Jersey consumer affairs director rejects proposed ban on Brazilian waxing [Asbury Park Press, JammieWearingFool, Jaira Lima and protest site, Popehat, News12 video] Florida, however, won’t let you get a fish-nibble pedicure [WWSB]
  • Kids doing well in homeschool but divorcing dad disapproves, judge says they must be sent to public [WRAL, Volokh]
  • Al Franken comes out for loser-pays in litigation (well, in this case at least) [MSNBC “First Read”]
  • U.K.: “A man who tried to kill himself has won £90,000 in damages from the hospital which saved his life but hurt his arm in the process” [Telegraph]
  • Life in places without the First Amendment: “Australia’s Vast, Scattershot Censorship Blacklist Revealed” [Slashdot, Volokh, Popehat]; British Telecom passes all internet traffic through “‘Cleanfeed” filters to identify (inter alia) racist content [Glasgow Herald]
  • More on that suit by expelled student against Miss Porter’s School; “Oprichniki” said to be not identical to Keepers of Tradition [NYTimes; our December coverage]
  • “Why We Need Cop Cameras” [Steve Chapman, Chicago Tribune] Shopkeepers terrorized in Philadelphia: “The thugs had badges.” [Ken at Popehat]
  • Counting former lobbyists in Obama Administration? Don’t forget Kathleen Sebelius [Jeff Emanuel, RedState]
  • Wisconsin: “$50,000 claim filed over girl’s time-out in school” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]

March 3 roundup

  • “Illinois trial lawyers take a swing at youth baseball” [Curt Mercadente, Illinois Civil Justice League]
  • Luzerne County, Pa. scandal: “Court Filing Says Former Judge Met With Felons Twice a Month” [Legal Intelligencer]
  • You’d think Obama could find some person without major-league trial lawyer connections for the cabinet seat on health, but you’d be wrong [Wood, PoL, on Kathleen Sebelius, and earlier on Tom Daschle]
  • Remember the many times when town officials do or say something arguably racist and the U.S. Department of Justice opens an investigation? Doesn’t seem to happen with the Detroit City Council [Nolan Finley, Detroit News]
  • Copyright enforcement doesn’t scale and that’s another reason its future looks bleak [David Post @ Volokh]
  • Thought it wasn’t going to happen? “Some Passengers Mull Lawsuits Over Life-Saving US Airways Crash-Landing” [ABA Journal, WSJ law blog, earlier here and here]
  • Sex shop that suddenly appeared in genteel Old Town Alexandria, near D.C. is sort of the zoning equivalent of a spite fence [WaPo]
  • Claim of British researchers: lawyers’ IQ-point edge over general public has declined over last decade [The Lawyer]