Ways and Means Chairman Subpoenas Obamacare Data

Dave Camp speaks at a press conference to talk about extending the payroll tax cut for working Americans on Thursday, Dec. 22, 2011.
National Journal
Elahe Izadi
Nov. 5, 2013, 1:05 p.m.

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.

What We're Following See More »
Bill Clinton Gets Personal in Convention Speech
3 hours ago

“In the spring of 1971, I met a girl,” started Bill Clinton. In his speech Tuesday night at the Democratic National Convention, Clinton brought a personal touch, telling parallel stories of his relationship with Hillary Clinton and the work she has done throughout her career. He lauded the Democratic nominee for her career of work, touching on her earliest days of advocacy for children and those with disabilities while in law school, her role as Secretary of State, and her work in raising their daughter, Chelsea. Providing a number of anecdotes throughout the speech, Clinton built to a crescendo, imploring the audience to support his wife for president. "You should elect her, she'll never quit when the going gets tough," he said. "Your children and grandchildren will be grateful."

Mothers Of The Movement Endorse Hillary Clinton
6 hours ago

A coalition of mothers whose children lost their lives in high profile cases across the country, known as the Mothers Of The Movement, were greeted with deafening chants of "Black Lives Matter" before telling their stories. The mothers of Sandra Bland, Jordan Davis, and Trayvon Martin spoke for the group, soliciting both tears and applause from the crowd. "Hillary Clinton has the compassion and understanding to comfort a grieving mother," said Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin. "And that's why, in the memory of our children, we are imploring you — all of you — to vote this election day."

Clinton Officially Democratic Nominee for President
8 hours ago

With the South Dakota delegation announcing its delegate count, Hillary Rodham Clinton is officially the Democratic nominee for president, surpassing the 2383 delegates needed to clinch the nomination. Clinton is expected to speak at the convention on Thursday night and officially accept the nomination.

How Many People Protested in Philly Yesterday?
12 hours ago

About 5,500, according to official estimates. "The Monday figures marked a large increase from the protests at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, where even the largest protests only drew a couple of hundred demonstrators. But it’s a far cry from the 35,000 to 50,000 that Philadelphia city officials initially expected."

NY Times’ Upshot Gives Clinton 68% Chance to Win
12 hours ago

Only a day after FiveThirtyEight's Now Cast gave Donald Trump a 57% chance of winning, the New York Times' Upshot fires back with its own analysis that shows Hillary Clinton with a 68% chance to be the next president. Its model "calculates win probabilities for each state," which incorporate recent polls plus "a state's past election results and national polling." Notably, all of the battleground states that "vote like the country as a whole" either lean toward Clinton or are toss-ups. None lean toward Trump.