Hillary Emails Reveal How Crony Elite Got Access to Those Designing Obamacare
Hillary Clinton worked to get a high-dollar donor to the Clinton Foundation access to a top White House health care official during the legislative fight over Obamacare, according to emails that reveal new details about the administration’s role in that fight.
An administration official regularly briefed Clinton on the status of Obamacare legislation, the emails show. Some of those messages reveal concerns about the law’s unpopularity, its price tag, and its inability to control healthcare costs that the administration publicly dismissed or downplayed.
In June 2009, Clinton emailed Neera Tanden, a former Clinton campaign operative, then a top aide to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and now the president of the Center for American Progress.
Clinton wanted Tanden to arrange a meeting between three doctors and Nancy Ann DeParle, the White House official leading its health care reform efforts.
“I can arrange it, no worries,” Tanden assured her
. “I know Dean Ornish from the Obama campaign,” Tanden said, referring to one of the trio.
Ornish is a high-dollar Democratic donor. According to federal campaign finance records, he’s given more than $700,000 to Democratic campaigns, party organs, and outside groups since the 1990s.
His organization, the Preventive Medicine Research Institute, previously received $3.5 million
in earmarks courtesy of then-House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.), one of the recipients of his political contributions.
Ornish has donated to both of Clinton’s presidential campaigns, and co-hosted a fundraiser
for the campaign in 2007. He is also a high-dollar donor to the Clinton Foundation, having given between $100,000 and $250,000
, according to the Foundation’s website.
Tanden apparently arranged the meeting between Ornish and DeParle. “Thanks for following thru,”Clinton wrote
five days later.
That exchange was one of many between Clinton and Tanden during the legislative battles over Obamacare, according to emails to Clinton’s personal email address released by the State Department in response to a series of Freedom of Information Act requests.
The emails show Tanden providing frequent updates from the White House’s perspective on those fights, often sharing details that contradicted administration talking points about the promised benefits of their health care reform efforts.
One selling point for the law was that it would reduce health care costs. But as early as October 2009, six months before Obamacare became law, Tanden cast doubt on its cost-control measures in private exchanges with Clinton.
“In terms of cost controls, the dirty little secret is that we don’t have a lot of good evidence on what works—in a way that that Congress has any appetite to do,” Tanden wrote in one email
The Emails Hillary Clinton’s Top Adviser Sent to Hillary About Qaddafi’s Gold Holdings
This is damn fascinating.
Of the 3,000 emails released from Hillary Clinton’s private email server in late December 2015, nearly a third were from her close confidante Sidney Blumenthal, the Clinton aide who gained notoriety when he testified against Monica Lewinsky. One of these emails, dated April 2, 2011, reads in part:
Qaddafi’s government holds 143 tons of gold, and a similar amount in silver . . . . This gold was accumulated prior to the current rebellion and was intended to be used to establish a pan-African currency based on the Libyan golden Dinar. This plan was designed to provide the Francophone African Countries with an alternative to the French franc (CFA).
In a “source comment,” the original declassified email adds:
According to knowledgeable individuals this quantity of gold and silver is valued at more than $7 billion. French intelligence officers discovered this plan shortly after the current rebellion began, and this was one of the factors that influenced President Nicolas Sarkozy’s decision to commit France to the attack on Libya. According to these individuals Sarkozy’s plans are driven by the following issues:
- A desire to gain a greater share of Libya oil production,
- Increase French influence in North Africa,
- Improve his internal political situation in France,
- Provide the French military with an opportunity to reassert its position in the world,
- Address the concern of his advisors over Qaddafi’s long term plans to supplant France as the dominant power in Francophone Africa
Brown then reports on a 2011 post I made here at EPJ:
Hilary Clinton’s emails shed light on another enigma remarked on by early commentators. Why, within weeks of initiating fighting, did the rebels set up their own central bank? Robert Wenzel wrote in The Economic Policy Journal in 2011:
This suggests we have a bit more than a rag tag bunch of rebels running around and that there are some pretty sophisticated influences. I have never before heard of a central bank being created in just a matter of weeks out of a popular uprising.
Conspicuously absent [from Blumenthal’s emails] is any mention of humanitarian concerns. The objectives are money, power and oil.