Energy and Commerce Committee Announces Hearing with CMS Chief as Key Health Law Provisions Delayed, Additional Deadlines Loom

July 23, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC – House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) today announced that the full committee will hold a hearing August 1, 2013, to question the Obama administration on the details and status of the implementation of the health care law. Just two months before the deadline for health care exchanges to be operational, the Administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Marilyn Tavenner, will provide testimony and answer questions from committee members.

“From the outset, getting details on the health care law from the administration has been difficult, information has been scarce, and the picture has oftentimes been deliberately distorted. The administration’s recent actions have done nothing but generate more questions and raise more concerns, triggering a tidal wave of uncertainty for businesses and families,” said Chairman Upton. “With full implementation fast approaching, we look forward to the opportunity to hear from Administrator Tavenner and hope to gain some semblance of clarity on the many important questions looming over the future of this law.”

“Repeatedly, this administration has needlessly gone out of its way to avoid providing any straight answers about Obamacare. Just last week the administration’s Treasury witness was less than forthcoming and repeatedly dodged the committee’s attempts to get more information about the delay in the employer mandate. The millions of Americans who will pay the price of the looming rate shock with higher insurance premiums deserve better,” said Vice Chairman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN). “HHS has assured us that CMS’ Marilyn Tavenner will be prepared to address all of our concerns. The administration has so far failed to live up to its promise of transparency when it comes to explaining Obamacare. Hopefully they will do so this time, so the American public can get some answers.”

Recent unilateral action to delay the employer mandate and to waive the verification process for individuals applying for subsidies on the exchanges has raised new concerns regarding the administration’s ability to implement this law on the current schedule. On July 18, the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations held a hearing in an effort to gain insight from the Treasury Department regarding the July 2 decision to delay the employer mandate. Treasury Department’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Retirement and Heath Policy Mark Iwry failed to provide adequate details regarding the decision, making additional oversight necessary.

More details on the hearing will be available here as posted.