Crossroads GPS Sues Obama Administration Over Failure to Release Obamacare Waiver Documents

Crossroads GPS files lawsuit against U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to force release of information concerning entities that have requested and received, or been rejected for, waivers from Obamacare requirements.

WASHINGTON – Today, a law firm representing Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies (GPS), a nonprofit conservative issue advocacy organization, filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, over the department’s repeated failure to comply with the Freedom of Information Act by providing information about the department’s granting of waivers from the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Act, also known as Obamacare.

The lawsuit seeks judicial enforcement of a FOIA request for “any and all memoranda, guidance, directives, instructions and other documents … relating to the criteria to be applied by HHS in deciding whether to grant or deny applications for waiver of the annual limit requirements” ordered by the Obamacare law.

“The Obamacare waiver program has all the same flaws as the underlying law: unfettered government power, federal bureaucrats picking winners and loses, and the appearance, if not the reality, of favoritism to political cronies,” said Steven Law, president of Crossroads GPS. “Until President Obama is willing to grant the entire country a waiver from Obamacare, his Administration needs to come clean on how they decide who wins and losers in the waiver lottery.”

Crossroads GPS submitted its FOIA request to HHS on January 7, 2011, and HHS acknowledged its receipt of the request on January 11, 2011. After repeated attempts by letter, phone, email and fax to generate action on the request, no action has been taken, despite the 20 day statutory limit on fulfilling FOIA requests.

As of March 6, more than 1,000 waivers have been given to organizations granting a one-year exemption from Obamacare coverage requirements. Dozens of other waiver requests have been denied, but without the government adequately disclosing the reasoning or process behind the waiver process.  Large numbers of waivers have been granted by HHS to labor unions, many of which strongly supported passage of Obamacare and have made significant political contributions to the President.

Both the FOIA request and lawsuit were filed by the law firm Morgan, Lewis and Bockius LLP, on behalf of Crossroads GPS.

Crossroads GPS is a policy and grassroots advocacy organization that is committed to educating, equipping and mobilizing millions of American citizens to take action on the critical economic and legislative issues that will shape our nation’s future in the years ahead.

For more information, contact Jonathan Collegio at [email protected] or (202) 559-6424.