Most organizations get grants from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) lobby, but HHS has no good way to find out if the grantees are violating bans on use of HHS grant money in lobbying. Officials at the HHS Office of Inspector General have published that conclusion in a report on compliance with HHS grant program lobbying rules.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and older federal laws prohibit recipients of HHS grants from spending the grant money on lobbying. In 2009, HHS tore into commercial insurers when insurers tried to share their views about health reform legislation with Medicare Advantage plan enrollees.
See also: PPACA: The lobbying horse race
HHS inspector general’s office investigators studied lobbying rule compliance efforts by looking at 13 HHS grantmaking agencies for federal fiscal years 2011 and 2012. The investigators also conducted a survey of the organizations that received the grant money.