NFL Says It Has No Plans To Help With Obamacare Promotion

After receiving letters from Republican senators urging it to stay out of a political fight, the National Football League said Friday that it will not work with administration officials on the effort. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius suggested earlier that the league was enthusiastic to help.

The Washington Post: NFL Says No To Promoting Obamacare
The National Football League is used to big, bruising battles. But on Friday, it announced that it was likely staying out of one of the roughest fights in Washington: the war over Obamacare (Somashekhar and Bernstein, 6/28).

CNN Money: NFL Has 'No Plans' To Promote Obamacare
The National Football League has "no plans" to work with the Obama administration in educating the public about the president's controversial health care reform, according to an NFL spokesman. ... The top two Republicans in the Senate cautioned the league against teaming up for the project, saying in a letter Friday the NFL would "risk damaging" its nonpartisan reputation by getting involved in a highly divisive issue (Killough, 6/28).

The Wall Street Journal: NFL Balks At Supporting Health Law After GOP Senators Send Warning
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told reporters at the beginning of last week that the National Football League was "enthusiastically engaged" in talks to help promote health insurance. By the week's end, the NFL had contradicted that statement, saying it "currently (has) no plans to engage in this area" after receiving a public warning from Republican Senate leaders, who also fired off letters to five other professional sports leagues suggesting they avoid promoting the Affordable Care Act. The letters were cosigned by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Texas Sen. John Cornyn (Schatz, 6/30).

Politico: Mitch McConnell Asks Pro Sports To Stay Away From Obamacare Promotion
Two top Senate Republicans have sternly warned the leaders of the NFL and other sports leagues against wading into the politically volatile waters of Obamacare. "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," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Republican Whip John Cornyn wrote in letters to the commissioners of the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, PGA and the chairman and chief executive officer of NASCAR. A spokesman for the NFL responded Friday evening to say the league has no plans at this time to work with HHS on health law (Haberkorn, 6/28).

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