NFL Says No Substantive Plans to Promote Obama Health Law

The National Football League hasn’t engaged in talks with the Obama administration to help promote the 2010 health law, a league spokesman said, contradicting earlier remarks by Kathleen Sebelius, the U.S. health secretary.

Sebelius told reporters on June 24 that her department had reached out to the NFL and other professional sports leagues to discuss a partnership to help market the Affordable Care Act. The administration especially wants to reach healthy young men, part of the NFL’s fan base, whose enrollment in new insurance plans to be offered starting Oct. 1 is seen as crucial to the law’s success.

U.S. Senators Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and John Cornyn of Texas, the top two Republicans in the Senate, wrote yesterday to six professional sports organizations including the NFL to warn them against promoting the “deeply divisive and unpopular” law.

Greg Aiello, a spokesman for the NFL, said the league informed the senators that “we currently have no plans to engage in this area and have had no substantive contact with the administration” about the law’s implementation.

Sebelius, on June 24, said the NFL was “actively and enthusiastically engaged” with the administration about advertising and other promotional efforts.

Told his statement contradicted the secretary’s remarks, Aiello said, “We have nothing to add to our statement.”

A spokeswoman for Sebelius, Joanne Peters, declined to comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alex Wayne in Washington at awayne3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reg Gale at rgale5@bloomberg.net

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