Likening Sebelius’ fundraising to Iran-Contra

Under the provocative Wall Street Journal headline “Kathleen Sebelius, Meet Oliver North,” Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., addressed reports that the Health and Human Services secretary and former Kansas governor has been doing private fundraising, including from health care executives, for a private entity helping implement Obamacare. Alexander quoted an HHS spokesman as saying that because Congress didn’t provide additional funding needed, “we had to come up with Plan B.” Then Alexander asked: “Isn’t ‘Plan B’ what got Oliver North in trouble during the 1980s?” referring to charges that the Reagan official circumvented Congress by using the proceeds of secret arms sales to Iran to bankroll Contra rebels in Nicaragua. Alexander concluded: “ Is Ms. Sebelius raising funds for a private entity and then coordinating with that entity to do something Congress has refused to authorize, or for which it has refused to appropriate funds? And is she raising money from organizations she regulates, in violation of ethics laws? If the money being raised by Ms. Sebelius is being spent to do an end-run around Congress, then the Obama administration had better brush up on its Iran-Contra history.”