Administration Rebuffs Invite to Testify at Full Committee Hearing On Health Care Law’s Botched Rollout; Leaders Press Sebelius to Reconsider
WASHINGTON, DC – The House Energy and Commerce Committee today announced a full committee hearing – PPACA Implementation Failures: Didn’t Know or Didn’t Disclose? – to examine the health care law’s troubled rollout on Thursday, October 24 in room 2123 of the Rayburn House Office Building. Thus far, the administration has rejected the committee’s invitation to participate and publicly answer questions. Committee leaders sent a letter to Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius requesting the administration reconsider its participation. The letter was signed by Full Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Chairman Emeritus Joe Barton (R-TX), Full Committee Vice Chairman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Health Subcommittee Chairman Joe Pitts (R-PA), Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy (R-PA), and Health and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Vice Chairman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX).
The administration and the companies involved with implementation repeatedly assured the committee that everything was “on track” for October 1; however, the first two and a half weeks of open enrollment have been defined by significant “glitches” that have prevented Americans from being able to even use the system.
"It's well past time for the administration to be straight and transparent with the American people. Top administration officials repeatedly testified everything was on track, but the broad technological failures reveal that was not the case,” said Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI). "Either the administration was not ready for launch, or it was not up to the job. The president and top officials were quick to boast the number of visitors to HealthCare.gov, but they have since gone silent, refusing to disclose even basic enrollment figures. The rollout has been a complete mess, beyond the worst case scenario, and yet those administration officials responsible have indicated they will not be available to testify next week. This is wholly unacceptable. Secretary Sebelius had time for Jon Stewart, and we expect her to have time for Congress."
Energy and Commerce Committee leaders have sent letters to the administration as well as lead IT contractors regarding the “glitches” and failures that have plagued the roll out. The committee is also requesting enrollment figures from the administration, which have been withheld from the public and policymakers to date.
The Majority Memorandum, a witness list, and witness testimony will be available here as they are posted.