Rep. Smith Slams Use of Obamacare Funds to Promote Amnesty for Young Illegals

By Brittany M. Hughes | October 30, 2014 | 4:43pm EDT

Rep. Lamar Smith (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

( - In a letter to House Appropriations Chair Harold Rogers (R-Ky.) on Tuesday, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) called for defunding a provision in Obamacare that has been allowing taxpayer dollars set aside for public health initiatives to fund television ads for President Obama’s illegal alien amnesty programs.

In his letter, Smith cites a $15 million grant from the Prevention and Public Health Fund that the Department of Health and Human Services gave the California Endowment. The Prevention and Public Health Fund was created by the Affordable Care Act to support public health care initiatives. The California Endowment is a statewide, private health foundation that supplies grants for various organizations throughout California, and has served as one of the Obama administration’s loudest promoters of Obamacare.

Newsbusters (which like is part of the Media Research Center), reported earlier this month that the California Endowment last year signed a $20 million deal with the Spanish-language TV outlet “Univision” to help promote Obamacare. Using federal tax dollars from the health fund, the foundation then sponsored ads on Univision reminding qualifying illegal aliens to renew their Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) permits before they expire.

“U.S. taxpayer dollars are being spent for Univision morning show weatherwoman Ximena Córdoba to exhort beneficiaries of President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to renew the permits exempting them from deportation proceedings for another two years,” Newsbusters reported.

The DACA program was an executive action by President Obama that allows some illegal aliens who were brought to the United States as minors to receive relief from deportation proceedings.

Newsbusters also reported the ad “combines the DACA permit renewal campaign with ObamaCare enrollment promotion” by flashing Univision’s Obamacare enrollment website during the ad’s closing screenshot, as well as crediting the California Endowment for sponsoring the ad.

In his letter, Smith called the ad “just one example of the wasteful and unaccountable spending created by the Prevention and Public Health Fund.”

“Regardless of how one feels about Obamacare, taxpayer money being spent to remind undocumented immigrants to renew their DACA permits does not promote healthcare,” Smith argued.

Smith also cited “deep flaws” with the fund, as well as with Obamacare itself.

“This slush fund has virtually no oversight as to where taxpayer money is spent and gives the Department of Health and Human Services free reign to spend the money in any manner it chooses,” Smith argued, adding that fund dollars “may not even have to go toward healthcare related initiatives.”

Smith called for Congress to defund the Prevention and Public Health Fund in its next appropriations bill, as well as a total repeal of Obamacare, citing the health care law’s “many flaws.”

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