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Conflict? PBS Journalist to Emcee Event Praising HHS Sec. for Obamacare

"she is implementing reforms that have ended many of the insurance industry’s worst abuses"

Might this be a conflict of interest?

PBS anchor Gwen Ifill is set to emcee an event honoring Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius for her "advancements in health care" and contributions to implementing Obamacare. The event is a benefit for the non-profit Whitman-Walker Health.

"Please join Gwen Ifill, managing editor of 'Washington Week' and senior correspondent for the 'PBS News Hour'" and the Whitman-Walker family as we honor United States Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius for advancements in health care," the invite says. "Be the Care and help Whitman-Walker Health continue to provide empowering health care services to our community."

The bio of Sebelius listed on the invite leaves no question what type of event it will be:

Kathleen Sebelius was sworn in as the 21stSecretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on April 28, 2009. Since taking office, Secretary Sebelius has led ambitious efforts to improve America’s health and enhance the delivery of human services to some of the nation’s most vulnerable populations, including young children, those with disabilities, and the elderly.

As part of the historic Affordable Care Act, she is implementing reforms that have ended many of the insurance industry’s worst abuses and will help 34 million uninsured Americans get health coverage. She is also working with doctors, nurses, hospital leaders, employers, and patients to slow the growth in health care costs through better care and better health. [Emphasis added]

Metro Weekly also makes it clear that the non-profit organization is a big fan of Obamacare, and confirms Ifill's role:

Whitman-Walker Health, the nonprofit community health organization that specializes in HIV/AIDS treatment, will hold its 19th annual spring fundraiser, themed ''Be the Care,'' during which the center will honor Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Kathleen Sebelius with its Partner for Life Award for her work in helping implement the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The cocktail reception and awards ceremony, which will be emceed by PBS's Gwen Ifill, is set for Thursday, April 19.

Whitman-Walker representatives praised Sebelius's work in implementing the ACA to ensure better access to health care for millions of Americans, including those with pre-existing conditions, and to provide support to community health centers like Whitman-Walker. [Emphasis added]

This isn't the first time Ifill has been involved in an event with a possible conflict of interest. "In 2008, it was questionable that PBS NewsHour and Washington Week anchor Gwen Ifill could moderate the vice-presidential debate as she was writing a book called “The Breakthrough” about the rise of Barack Obama and other black liberal politicians," Newsbusters points out.

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