Committee Leaders Seek Documents, Briefing Regarding Inaccurate Health Care Subsidy Payments

May 19, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC – House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders today sent letters to the Department of Health and Human Services, Serco, Inc., Accenture, and CGI regarding reports that inaccurate subsidy payments may have been made to more than one million Americans through the health care law.

The committee leaders write, “According to the Washington Post, more than 1 million Americans may have received incorrect subsidies to pay for health care plans purchased in the Federally Facilitated Marketplace (FFM) and the government has been unable to fix the error. …only a ‘fraction’ of that number have been notified that there is a problem with their application. The reason for this problem is one that has troubled the FFM since open enrollment began on October 1, 2013: the capability to address these problems has yet to be built. Henry Chao, Deputy Chief Information Officer for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), acknowledged this in his testimony before the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations on November 19, 2013.”   

“President Obama declared in March that, ‘HealthCare.gov works great now,’ and administration officials have insisted that the debate over this law is over, but it’s painfully clear that more than eight months after the start of open enrollment, this law is still not ‘working the way it’s supposed to,’” commented full committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI). “The administration’s incompetence could now mean big headaches for the Americans who struggled through HealthCare.gov only to be given the wrong information. This committee has a number of outstanding questions for the administration about concerns surrounding this law’s implementation and effects. Rather than yet another White House celebration, it’s time the administration be transparent with the American people.”    

“This committee has held 17 hearings and sent dozens of letters regarding this health care law since last January alone, yet here we are. Despite repeated claims that things were working fine and on track, implementation has been anything but successful,” commented Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy (R-PA). “We will continue to ask these important questions and hope that all those involved will finally be up front with the American people about the true status of this broken law.”  

The committee leaders are seeking briefings and documents from each of the letter recipients regarding the scope and details of this particular issue, when they became aware of the problem, what communication they have had over it, and steps being taken to address it.

The letter was signed by Upton, Murphy, Health Subcommittee Chairman Joe Pitts (R-PA), Chairman Emeritus Joe Barton (R-TX), full committee Vice Chairman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), and Vice Chairman of the Health and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittees Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX).

Read the complete letter online here.