Energy and Commerce Committee Probes HHS on Temporary High Risk Insurance

January 25, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC - Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Cliff Stearns (R-FL) today released a letter sent to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius seeking details on the temporary $5 billion Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) that was created by the massive health overhaul.  Upton and Stearns noted that enrollment has fallen well short of expectations despite the administration's predictions of widespread public support and billions of dollars allocated for the new program.  There is substantial public interest in making sure the PCIP operates with high levels of transparency and efficiency.

"We write to obtain information on the current state of the [Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan].  There is reason for concern that early enrollment has proven sluggish despite early predictions that the PCIP would show that the public was willing to embrace the [Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act]," the chairmen wrote.  "Shortly after passage of the PPACA, the Chief Actuary for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services estimated that the creation of the PCIP would result in roughly 375,000 people gaining coverage in 2010.  The Washington Post reported on December 27, 2010, that as the end of year approached, only 8,000 people had enrolled."

The inquiry into the operations and activities of the PCIP is part of a broader effort being undertaken by the Committee to scrutinize the massive bureaucracy created by the health care law and its consequences for consumers, employers, and health care quality and access.

To view the letter, please click HERE.