Stephen Moore, writing in the Wall Street Journal, informs readers that taxpayer money is being spent on services that are at best marginally related to healthcare.
Last week, the Obama administration revealed that three Planned Parenthood affiliates would be among the groups receiving federal dollars to educate Americans about the Affordable Care Act. The announcement did not go unnoticed by conservative Republicans who want to defund ObamaCare.
The three groups, based in Iowa, Montana and New Hampshire, will receive a total of $655,000 in federal funds. More than a hundred other organizations will also get money. An affiliate of the left-leaning Urban League received a $565,000 grant, for example. The Obama administration defends the grants by noting that some of the money went to groups affiliated with the Catholic Church and others with a more conservative orientation.
He continues later:
The administration’s decision to use ObamaCare dollars for whatever purpose it wishes is especially ironic given the sequestration debate, where the White House has argued that it doesn’t have the authority to move money from one account to another. This was the administration’s excuse for the temporary shutdown of air traffic control towers at busy airports this spring. The administration said it needed specific legislative authority from Congress to restore the funding of many essential services. But it has not sought such authority when it comes to funding what it wants with ObamaCare appropriations.
Part of the problem, which Congress may now try to fix, is that the language of the statute creating the PPHF is vague. The law says that money may be used for programs “to improve health” or “help restrain the rate of growth” of health-care expenses. Republican Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan wrote a letter earlier this year to Ms. Sebelius complaining that some ObamaCare grants “appear to fund lobbying activities contrary to the laws” governing the use of federal funds. Even Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa, a Democrat, has objected to the use of preventive health dollars for unrelated projects as “an outrageous attack on an investment fund that is saving lives.”