Former HHS Official in May 2013: ‘I don’t know who’s in charge on health care’

Posted by on Feb 25, 2014 at 8:06 am

It took an FOIA request from the Washington Examiner to get this information. If only the rest of the media showed some interest. What we’ve got here is an administration plagued with incompetence and confusion and clearly intent on hiding the truth. Not that that’s news, but it does underscore what is obvious to everyone: Kathleen Sebelius and her boss have a lot to answer for.

Several Republican senators who have looked into the propriety of Sebelius’ fundraising to promote Obamacare say she attended a White House meeting with President Obama, other HHS and private foundations on May 1, 2013.

According to the GOP senators, the private sector’s work with Enroll America was discussed at that meeting.

The meeting, though, is not specified on Obama’s official schedule for the day. The schedule lists a 10:30 a.m. meeting with senior advisers on that date. Sebelius’ public schedule for May 1 also does not mention a White House meeting.

The email exchange between Gunn and Filipic makes reference to conversations “at the White House.”

Filipic in an email on May 1 said she had a meeting “at Pew” that same day and reported that “folks were clearly energized by what they heard at the White House.”

That remark is an apparent reference to the Pew Charitable Trusts, a large nonprofit. The foundation did not respond to questions about whether its officials visited the White House or what discussions took place with administration officials.

She also wrote Gunn thanking him for attending one of the meetings and for “fighting hard for us along the way.”

“I thought today went well but should not be so painful to get to that point,” she wrote. “Thanks for everything.”

Gunn responded, saying it was his pleasure to help and that he wished he could do more and is glad “we are making progress.”

He then took several shots apparently at the White House’s health care messaging and engagement team.

“I think we need to have a Come to Jesus meeting with our friend over there,” he wrote. “I think they are in disarray. I don’t know who’s in charge on health care.”

“We haven’t even been introduced to Paulette yet. Tara is coming over tomorrow but I think her focus is solely on Comms when we need someone focused on what you need,” he continued.

The email does not reference last names for either woman. However, Paulette Aniskoff and Tara McGuiness are two senior White House aides.

Aniskoff is deputy assistant to the president and director of the White House Office of Public Engagement. She came to the White House the late fall of 2012 after serving as the director of individual and community preparedness at the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

McGuiness is a senior communications adviser who handles health care issues for the president. Her Twitter handle is @HealthCareTara and her page describes her role as “all health care all the time.”

And her Twitter feed is filled with smug condescension and propaganda, all the time. How can anyone engage with this?


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