President Obama’s nominee for secretary of Health and Human Services is facing scrutiny from two conservative senators who want answers to more than a dozen questions before the Senate votes on her confirmation.
Sens. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Ted Cruz, R-Texas, wrote to Sylvia Burwell today to request a written response to 15 questions about Obamacare. (A copy of the letter is below.)
With many Democrats predicting an easy confirmation for Burwell—she was confirmed last year to lead the Office of Management and Budget by a vote of 96-0—Cruz and Lee said they want to ensure the Senate is carrying out its oversight responsibilities.
“[Y]our nomination to such a highly active agency necessitates due diligence to ensure your ability and dedication to leading HHS in a transparent and forthright manner,” the senators wrote.
At a confirmation hearing this week, Burwell faced questions about the Affordable Care Act on some of the same topics addressed in Lee and Cruz’s letter. They have asked for a response before the Senate votes on her nomination.
Among the questions they ask:
- Does your estimate that there have been approximately 8 million exchange enrollees take duplicate enrollments into consideration and remove them from the count?
- What percentage of exchange enrollees, broken down by age ranges, has paid the first month’s premium?
- Will you commit to disclosing the percentage of exchange enrollees, broken down by age ranges, who have paid subsequent premiums—first two months, first three months, etc.?
- What percentage of exchange enrollees had some form of health insurance during 2013 prior to their enrollment in an exchange?
The letter goes on to ask about health premium increases, the Independent Payment Advisory Board, abortion coverage and the employer mandate.