Oversight Seeks Documents, Transcribed Interviews on Obamacare Implementation and Outreach

Published: Jun 13, 2013

WASHINGTON- House Oversight and Government Reform Committee leaders this week sent a letter to Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius which seeks transcribed interviews of HHS officials who have given conflicting information to the Committee regarding Obamacare outreach. The letter follows up on request letters sent to the Secretary and testimony given at a recent joint subcommittee hearing.

“In our April 19th letter, we asked whether you have the legal authority to transfer funds from sources other than the Health Insurance Reform Implementation Fund (HIRIF) to finance the establishment and operation of Federally Facilitated Health Care Exchanges (FFEs),” the letter, signed by , signed full Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., Economic Growth Subcommittee Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio and Health Care Subcommittee Chairman James Lankford, R-Okla., states.

“In our May 6th letter, we expressed serious concerns about information Committee staff learned during a briefing from HHS officials on the Navigators and Assisters programs, and the proposed rule for those programs issued by HHS,” the letter continues. “During the hearing on May 21, 2013, the Committee questioned [Gary Cohen, Director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight] about the funding sources of and training and qualifications for Navigators and Assisters.”

In the hearing, Committee members raised several more concerns, including concern about the lack of complete training modules for the programs, grading rubrics for applicants, and an oversight plan for the programs within HHS.

Noting that other parts of Cohen’s testimony apparently contradicts earlier statements provided to the Committee by one of his deputies on the legally dubious authority for the Assisters program, the letter requests transcribed interviews with Cohen and that deputy.