A new e-mail chain released by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., states that just days prior to HealthCare.gov’s launch, a top HealthCare.gov official discussed White House fears about the website being unavailable and accurately predicted media outlets publicizing a now well-known error message that appears when the website is down.
“When the President told Americans ‘if they liked their healthcare, they could keep it’, many believed him,” said Chairman Issa. “In this hearing, we will hear the stories of those North Carolinians who have experienced firsthand the increased premiums and dropped coverage as a result of the President’s landmark legislative achievement. Americans will also hear from small business owners who are facing uncertainty providing healthcare to their employees in the wake of ObamaCare.”
“The DATA Act is an important piece of legislation. It will create the opportunity for government to be more efficient, more effective, and more transparent,” said House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif. “The American people deserve real accountability of how their taxpayer dollars are spent, now, more than ever.”
“While the President repeatedly said that Americans could keep their insurance under ObamaCare, even he has had to admit that just isn’t so. By holding these field hearings, the Committee will hear firsthand the stories about the initial impact of broken promises. These hearings will help the Oversight Committee determine how the Affordable Care Act is affecting individuals in areas hit the hardest by the ACA where costs are rising and choices are limited. HealthCare.gov continues to struggle while millions of Americans have their health plans cancelled and are left without the options the President promised.”
“The President has admitted to breaking his repeated promise that ‘if you like your health plan, you can keep it’ and admitted to ‘fumbling’ the ObamaCare rollout. He knows that millions of Americans have been told their health coverage is being cancelled, and he knows that that they cannot log on to the broken exchange website. Yet when faced with mounting bipartisan pressure to protect those losing their health coverage, the President offers nothing more than an administrative gimmick. Today, by passing the Keep Your Health Plan Act, the House has acted to change the law to reduce uncertainty and offer real solutions for individuals and families.”
“By trying to ignore a problem with existing law instead of addressing it, the president’s proposal is sure to create confusion and prolong uncertainty for millions of Americans. Americans need a real, legislative solution, not an administrative ploy to create ambiguity by selectively enforcing its own regulations. Tomorrow, the House will vote on the Keep Your Health Plan Act, which will clearly change the law so the plans Americans have and like will not be banned.”
“The 27,000 enrollments through federally facilitated exchange pale in comparison to the millions of Americans who have lost their health insurance under ObamaCare,” Issa stated. “The president promised that if you like your health insurance, you can keep it – period. Not only is that untrue, but this Administration cannot even offer a workable alternative to people once they have lost the insurance they liked. At today’s House Oversight Committee hearing, White House officials could not say whether HealthCare.gov will be operational by the end of the month, nor could they say who was ultimately responsible for the website’s failure. It is time for the president to finally acknowledge ObamaCare isn’t working and to delay the law, in fairness to families and individuals.”
Henry Chao, the Deputy Chief Information Officer and Deputy Director of the Office of Information Services at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), testified during a November 1 transcribed interview with Committee investigators that he was surprised he was never made aware of a September 3, 2013, memo outlining serious security vulnerabilities present in the Federal Facilitated Marketplaces (the “exchange”).
“Secretary Lew is responsible for providing all pertinent documents Treasury has in its possession, both within and outside the IRS,” said Chairman Issa regarding the subpoena. “The Committee is aware of responsive documents in Treasury’s possession that have not been produced to the Committee.”
“Six months have passed since Senator Vitter and I wrote your Agency seeking documents related to our ongoing investigations of EPA activities,” Issa explained in a letter sent to Administrator McCarthy in conjunction with the subpoena. “Given the EPA’s continued lack of cooperation, I am left with no choice but to issue a subpoena to compel the production of documents relevant to the Committee’s oversight obligations.”