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
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.

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