CMS Acting Administrator Slavitt Failed to Address Critical Questions on Future of State Exchanges – Agency Accountability of $5.5 Billion Has Been Missing
WASHINGTON, DC – The Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, chaired by Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA), today continued examining Obamacare’s state insurance marketplaces. The hearing was Part II of a two-part series – Part I looked at the individual state marketplaces, Part II examined the role being played by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
Chairman Murphy commented, “One of our main concerns we will address today is how Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ is conducting oversight over the billions of taxpayer dollars invested in establishing the state exchanges. Today, we expect direct and honest answers from CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt.”
Unfortunately, the Acting Obamacare CEO was less than forthcoming. Rep. Bill Flores (R-TX) pressed if other states were in jeopardy of failing and having to move to Healthcare.gov, but Slavitt was unable to provide a clear answer. Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN) asked if Slavitt could guarantee that the state marketplaces would become sustainable and not need to rely on taxpayer dollars, yet he could not make that guarantee and indicated that smaller states may be in trouble.
“These weren’t gotcha questions. We’re trying to get to the bottom of how billions have been squandered with no tangible return for the taxpayer,” said Chairman Murphy. “We expect full disclosure and cooperation from CMS moving forward.”
“The government’s robust investment of federal funds into state exchanges should have been accompanied by equally robust accountability by these stewards of taxpayer dollars. Yet, the committee’s oversight has revealed that CMS took a hands-off approach to the state exchanges. For example, CMS rubber-stamped No Cost Extension requests, issued permissive and vague guidance, and welcomed failed state exchanges to the federal platform with no questions asked. This is unacceptable,” commented full committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI).
For more information on today’s hearing, or to watch an archived webcast, click HERE.