Wikicountability and Crossroads GPS to file motion of summary judgment against HHS for stonewalling on Obamacare waivers

Crossroads group and its FOIA project move to force U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to reveal information on Obamacare waivers, after nearly six months of agency stonewalling.

WASHINGTON – Today, Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies (Crossroads GPS) and will file a motion for summary judgment in federal court against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), over the agency’s failure to disclose materials concerning Obamacare waivers requested via the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

A lawyer for Crossroads GPS, the parent organization of, originally filed a FOIA request in January 2011 for all documents and emails pertaining to the approval or denial of waivers under the new Obamacare law.  After two months of inaction by HHS, Crossroads GPS filed a lawsuit alleging that HHS was violating FOIA by not releasing the documents. Shortly thereafter, HHS turned over a handful of general policy documents but has since refused to set any schedule for turning over emails, correspondence or other materials about specific waivers.

Seeking judicial action against HHS to enforce FOIA standards, Wikicountability’s attorney will today file a motion for summary judgment in federal district court.

“With every passing day, this looks less like bureaucratic incompetence and more like willful stonewalling,” said Steven Law, president of Crossroads GPS.  “It’s time for judicial action to clean up the culture of disdain for FOIA that seems to permeate the Obama Administration.”

Since passage of the Obamacare legislation in March of 2010, at least 1,372 waivers have been granted by HHS to a variety of labor unions, businesses, and municipal governments, yet HHS has repeatedly refused to reveal the methods and criteria upon which it accepts and rejects waiver requests.

Suspicions of favoritism and political influence have arisen after reports that a disproportionate number of waivers were granted to labor unions that supported President Obama’s 2008 election, and to establishments in the congressional district represented by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif). Despite these concerns, HHS adamantly refuses to release records about specific approvals and denials of waivers.

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. Founded by Crossroads GPS, is a repository for Freedom of Information Act requests and other legally obtained official documents, designed with the purpose of publicly sharing information obtained through FOIA and other important reports, documents and analyses.

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