Committee Seeks Testimony from Acting OMB Director On Efforts to Undermine ACA and Eliminate Protections for Millions with Pre-Existing Conditions
Washington, D.C. (June 26, 2019)—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, sent a letter to the Acting Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Russell Vought, requesting his testimony on the decision by the Trump Administration to reverse its own legal position in Texas v. United States and assert that the entire Affordable Care Act (ACA) should be overturned.
“Given the devastating consequences that may result for millions of Americans if the Trump Administration’s efforts to strike down the ACA are successful, it is in the best interests of the American people to hear from you directly on this subject,” Cummings wrote. “They are entitled to understand how such a consequential decision was reached, particularly when it apparently occurred over the objections of the Cabinet officials charged with overseeing our health care system and defending our laws.”
According to public reporting, Vought played a critical role in the Administration’s decision to reverse its previous legal position regarding the ACA. These reports indicate that Vought advocated for this change over the objections of both Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar and Attorney General William Barr.
On May 13, 2019, Cummings sent a letter to White House Counsel Pat Cipollone requesting that Vought participate in a transcribed interview regarding his actions. Cummings sent this request along with Reps. Frank Pallone, Richard Neal, Bobby Scott, and Jerold Nadler, the Chairmen of the Committees on Energy and Commerce, Ways and Means, Education and Labor, and the Judiciary, respectively.
More than a month later, the White House has not responded to this request or even given the Committee the courtesy of sending a letter acknowledging the request.
As a result, Cummings is now seeking Vought’s testimony at a hearing on July 10, 2019, to address how he and other officials came to this decision; why he believes it is in the best interests of the American people; how Cabinet members were directed to implement it; and what, if any, plans the Administration has developed to replace the ACA if they are successful.
Click here to read today’s letter.