Credit: Rick Osentoski
Despite being encouraged by the federal government to help promote President Barack Obama's health care law, an NFL spokesman on Friday said the league has "no plans" to work with the White House regarding the implementation of "Obamacare."
The Department of Health and Human Services has reportedly reached out to the NFL -- as well as the NBA and MLB -- to help pitch the health care overhaul to its audience, particularly younger Americans. Earlier this week, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the NFL and a "variety of sports affiliates" had been "enthusiastically engaged" with the administration regarding the idea.
On Friday, Brian McCarthy, vice president of communications at the NFL, said in an email that the league has responded to letters from members of Congress.
"We currently have no plans to engage in this area and have had no substantive contact with the administration about (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's) implementation," McCarthy wrote.
Sens. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) recently warned the NFL that teaming up with the Obama administration to help promote Obamacare would "risk damaging" its nonpartisan reputation.
"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," the Republican senators wrote in a letter.
The lawmakers also reportedly sent the same letter to the National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, National Hockey League, Professional Golf Association and the chairman and chief executive officer of NASCAR.
"More than half of Americans oppose the law. According to a CNN/ORC International Poll last month, 43% favor the Affordable Care Act, while 54% oppose it. It's worth noting that a significant chunk of the opposition comes from people who say the law does not go far enough. Overall, 35% oppose the law because it is too liberal; 16% say they oppose it because it is not liberal enough," CNN reports.