Pitts: “It is absolutely stunning that this administration… has yet to build a functioning eligibility system.”
WASHINGTON, DC – The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, chaired by Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA), today held a hearing with witnesses Kay Daly and Joyce Greenleaf from the Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General. HHS OIG recently released reports detailing inconsistencies in applications filed through the health care exchanges and concerns surrounding a lack of eligibility verification. HHS OIG reported at least 2.9 million inconsistencies as of February 2014, 2.6 million of which had not been resolved by that time. The committee uncovered that this number had grown to at least 4 million by May 27, 2014.
“It is absolutely stunning that this administration, nearly a year after launch of the exchanges and with $1 trillion on the line, has yet to build a functioning eligibility system,” said Pitts. “From telling Americans falsely that they could keep their health plan and doctors to Secretary Sebelius’ commitment that the exchanges would be ready to launch on October 1st, implementation of this law has been a series of broken promises.”
Full committee Vice Chairman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) questioned the witnesses about the status of building the verification system. HHS OIG confirmed to Blackburn that the system was still incomplete, despite a certification from HHS Secretary Sebelius in January that eligibility verification was occurring.
Full committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) commented, “The administration should never have gone live last fall in the first place without the website being structurally complete, and yet every day Americans are left to endure the administration’s incompetence. And, according to media reports, it seems the administration has made it a higher priority to fight bad publicity, than to actually fix the problems.”