5 Obamacare Questions for HHS Official
Alyene Senger /
Today, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hear testimony from Gary Cohen, Deputy Administrator and Director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
Here are few questions that Members of the Committee should consider asking:
- Despite being an enormous debacle, the exchange website has already cost taxpayers “north of $600 million,” CMS has recently signed with a different contractor, Accenture, to be responsible for running the healthcare.gov site. How much additional taxpayer money will be spent on the website and what is the total cost expected to be?
- It has been reported that Oregon’s state-based exchange, Cover Oregon, while struggling to run its exchange, is exploring the opportunity to switch to a federal exchange next year. Oregon has received nearly $300 million in federal grants to build its own. Has HHS been in talks with Oregon or any other state-based exchange about switching to a federally facilitated exchange and how would HHS address recouping the original funding?
- Will HHS release information on the number of enrollees receiving Obamacare’s cost-sharing subsidies and the amount of those subsidies?
- A memo from the Senate Disbursing Office was sent to Senate staffers warning them to verify their enrollment in the DC Health Link exchange and not to rely on information given to them by the exchange due to technical difficulties with the website. Should those who have enrolled in the federal exchange follow the same procedure with their insurance company? If so, what is being done to remedy this issue?
- The Administration just released the exchange enrollment report for all states through the end of December but the report only detailed the number who have picked an exchange plan, not those who have purchased their plan. At what point will HHS release a report that examines how many people are actually covered through the exchange rather than those who have simply picked a plan?
As this is the self-proclaimed “most transparent administration in history,” getting answers to these questions should be easy for Committee members.