House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., has subpoenaed the administration for data on Obamacare enrollment, making good on an earlier threat.
The subpoena to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the agency managing the rollout of the insurance exchanges, demands all the data it has on enrollment figures by Friday.
“Congress needs to know what you know so Congress, the American people’s representatives, can also take corrective action,” Camp said in a letter accompanying the subpoena. “Both Republicans and Democrats need to understand the full extent of the crisis if we are going to find a fair and workable solution for the American people.”
Camp had sent a letter last week to CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner demanding the same data. House Oversight and Government Affairs Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., also has subpoenaed the Health and Human Services Department for the data.
Tavenner told the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee on Tuesday that the enrollment information would be released next week. The administration plans to release enrollment updates monthly.
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said at a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing last week that “we have no reliable data about enrollment, which is why we haven’t given it to date.”
Republicans point to low enrollment figures as proof that the rollout was a failure. Many Senate Democrats said Tuesday that low enrollment had been expected in the initial months after the rollout but that Healthcare.gov needs to be fully functional soon in order for people to sign up for coverage that begins on Jan. 1.
The administration has said the insurance-exchange website will be functioning properly by the end of November.
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After spending a few minutes re-litigating the Democratic primary, Donald Trump turned his focus to Obamacare. “I inherited a mess, believe me. We also inherited a failed healthcare law that threatens our medical system with absolute and total catastrophe” he said. “I’ve been watching and nobody says it, but Obamacare doesn’t work.” He finished, "so we're going to repeal and replace Obamacare."
Donald Trump lobbed his first attack at the “dishonest media” about a minute into his speech, saying that the media would not appropriately cover the standing ovation that he received. “We are fighting the fake news,” he said, before doubling down on his previous claim that the press is “the enemy of the people." However, he made a distinction, saying that he doesn't think all media is the enemy, just the "fake news."
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