Posts Tagged ‘Cause of Action’
October 19th, 2013 at 10:54 am
Podcast: ObamaCare’s Privacy Threat
Posted by Print

Dan Epstein, Executive Director of Cause of Action, discusses the risks Americans face in disclosing their personal medical and financial information on the ObamaCare exchanges and the risk of waste, fraud and abuse of hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars states are receiving to run their exchanges.

Listen to the interview here.

April 23rd, 2013 at 4:13 pm
Using Stimulus for Polling Strippers

The reformist public interest group Cause of Action released a very interesting report last week, one which I had hoped to have time by now to write about at greater length. For immediate purposes, though, time doesn’t allow, so here’s the short version: Through the infamous 2009 “stimulus” bill, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control allocated at least $94 million worth of grants that, to quote the CoA press release, “supported lobbyists and public relations companies who used taxpayer dollars to push laws and agendas that would lead to tax increases on tobacco and sugar sweetened products—violating federal law as well as HHS and Office of Management and Budget guidelines.”

Asked CoA Executive Director Dan Epstein: “With a program whose funding is expected to grow into the billions, how much more lobbying will the taxpayers be on the hook for before Kathleen Sebelius decides that it’s time to be accountable?”

There’s lot of good stuff in the report, most of it important but less than, uh, sexy. But, as is often the case, amidst the straightforward details there is one particular absurdity sure to attract guffaws.  It seems that one grantee actually conducted a focus group, on the effects of a proposed smoking ban, with nine “exotic dancers.” The strippers, according to the report, said that a “smoke-free adult entertainment establishment” would lead to a loss of income.

Gotta love using federal taxpayers to discover that patrons won’t look at what’s hot unless they have smoke. (Does this mean that where there’s no smoke, there’s no heat?)

Jokes aside, the rest of the CoA report documents misuse of tax funds that, even if not quite so nakedly absurd, are equally objectionable from a legal standpoint. Every bureaucrat and grantee is supposed to know that using federal funds to lobby government is strictly verboten — but HHS seems uninterested in providing the oversight necessary to make sure the rule is enforced.

Coming from an agency whose Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, already was found to have improperly campaigned on government time, in violation of the Hatch Act, this is further evidence of the Obamites’ rampant politicization of the bureaucracy.  (Surprise, surprise: The White House declined to punish her.)

Again, the whole report is here.