At the beginning of the week, we found out that Kathleen Sebelius had been huddling with the NFL, hoping to move the ball forward on public acceptance of ObamaCare. Apparently, the pass fell incomplete, because the NFL now says it has no intention of lining up with the White House for this kickoff, according to play-by-play man Philip Klein at the Washington Examiner:
UPDATE: NFL Spokesman Brian McCarthy emails:
We have responded to the letters we received from members of Congress to inform them we currently have no plans to engage in this area and have had no substantive contact with the administration about PPACA’s implementation.
Letters from Congress? ObamaCare opponents on Capitol Hill had to call an audible after getting surprised by the Obama administration’s attempt to draft the country’s most popular sports league:
The top two Republicans in the Senate cautioned the National Football League against teaming up with the Obama administration to promote the president’s controversial health care reform.
Earlier this week, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius confirmed the NFL and a “variety of sports affiliates” have been “enthusiastically engaged” with the administration over the idea.
But in a letter sent Friday, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Republican Whip John Cornyn advised the sports leagues that it would not be a smart move.
“Given the divisiveness and persistent unpopularity of the health care [law], it is difficult to understand why an organization like yours would risk damaging its inclusive and apolitical brand by lending its name to its promotion,” stated the letter.
In fact, the two leading Republicans tried to head off expansion teams from joining the league:
In addition to the NFL, the letter was sent to the National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, National Hockey League, Professional Golf Association and the chairman and chief executive officer of NASCAR.
It’s good to know that we’ll be able to watch American football without having to endure chalk talk on ObamaCare. Maybe Sebelius should have kept her playbook a little more covert.