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              Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, center, accompanied by Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, right, and  Acting Labor Secretary Seth D. Harris, speaks about Social Security and Medicare , Friday, May 31, 213, at the Treasury Department in Washington. The government says Medicare

GOP congressman cautions NFL, NBA on potential Obamacare promotion

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Caroline May
Political Reporter

At least one sports fan is not pleased that professional sports leagues might soon be promoting Obamacare.

In response to news reports that the Obama administration has reached out to the National Football League and the National Basketball Association to promote Obamacare, Louisiana Republican Rep. Steve Scalise reminded league heads of the Republican argument against the president’s healthcare law. 

“Among other effects, this law limits job creation, increases health care costs, discourages business expansion, and restricts access to care,” Scalise wrote in a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NBA commissioner David Stern Thursday.

In recent days reports have indicated that the Department of Health and Human Services has been engaged in talks with professional sports leagues about the possibility of recruiting them to promote the new health insurance plans available under Obamacare — particularly as a way to get more young people to enroll.

“We’re having active discussions right now with a variety of sports affiliates” about partnerships and advertising, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Monday, noting that the NFL has been “very actively and enthusiastically engaged” in the discussions, according to The Hill.

Scalise called on the Goodell and Stern to offer more details about their conversations with HHS as well as information about whether they would see promoting Obamacare as a “conflict of interest.”

“It’s clear that [Obamacare] is not ready for prime time, as even the law’s proponents have recently admitted,” he wrote. “Given the harmful impact on millions of your fans and the people of southeast Louisiana, coupled with the Obama Administration’s failure to meet the deadlines established to stand up to their own law, I would caution you against being coerced to into doing their dirty work for them.”

Scalise signed his missive “Geaux Saints and Pelicans.”

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