Friday, October 25, 2013

Obamacare hearings scheduled

Hearings Scheduled: As part of its growing effort to regain control of the narrative building around the problems that have dogged the rollout of the exchange marketplace, the Administration held a briefing on Wednesday for members of its own caucus.  The closed-door session was led by Gary Cohen, Deputy Administrator and Director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).  (Republicans, however, aren't scheduled to receive a similar briefing until next week.)  These efforts to mollify an increasingly disenchanted caucus notwithstanding, as anticipated, a slate of congressional hearings surrounding the rollout have already been scheduled for next week.  First up, CMS Administrator, Marilyn Tavenner, who is expected to appear before the House Ways & Means Committee on Tuesday.  She will be followed the next day by HHS Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, who is scheduled to testify before the House Energy & Commerce Committee.  Her appearance comes on the heels of yesterday’s hearing featuring the two top federal contractors involved in the launch of the exchange marketplace website.  Finally, for their part, the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee has made known its intent to investigate what role the White House may have played in the decisions leading up to the design and development of that website.  Committee Chairman, Darrell Issa, in a letter to two top technology officials at OMB, charged the Administration with making key decisions political, resulting in the “chaotic mess” consumers have had to deal with.

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