FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – COMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND COMMERCE
Secretary Sebelius to Testify Before Health Subcommittee on December 11
WASHINGTON, DC – The Subcommittee on Health, chaired by Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA), has scheduled a hearing to examine the health care law for Wednesday, December 11, 2013, at 10:00 a.m. in room 2123 of the Rayburn House Office Building. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is scheduled to testify.
The health law’s troubled rollout continues to reveal fundamental problems that stem well beyond a broken website. Despite the president’s promises, millions of Americans are receiving cancellation notices for their existing health plans, and many are facing significant rate shock, for some as high as 400 percent. Families and businesses alike are also facing uncertainty about future health costs, what paperwork they need to complete, and if their sensitive personal information will be protected. In some instances, insurers are not receiving the information necessary to successfully enroll those who do make their way through HealthCare.gov, putting in doubt the availability of services come January 1. And throughout the enrollment period, the administration has diverted from its vows of transparency, withholding basic information surrounding the law.
Secretary Sebelius last appeared before the full committee on October 30. Since then the committee’s investigation into the law’s failed rollout has uncovered documents demonstrating that on April 4 she was warned of the challenges about meeting the October 1 launch date, but on April 18 testified that implementation was “on track.”
“The problems with the president’s health care law are far worse than the many HealthCare.gov-induced headaches that have plagued Americans across the country for the past two months,” said Health Subcommittee Chairman Joe Pitts (R-PA). “Secretary Sebelius repeatedly testified at this committee that everything was ‘on track’ for October 1, despite warnings that this was a nearly impossible goal. Sadly, this was hardly the worst of the administration’s broken promises when it comes to this law. The administration cannot begin to restore trust until it begins to be fully transparent with the American people. We expect Secretary Sebelius to come prepared with answers next week.”
“The website was supposed to be the easy part, but hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars later, we are still not out of the woods. Now less than a month out from the law taking effect, the millions of Americans who have had their coverage cancelled sadly still far exceeds the number that have signed up,” said Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI). “Our constituents who have received termination notices are scared they may not have health care in four weeks, they are frustrated with a website that has failed to work, and they remain in a state of disbelief with how much more their new coverage will cost.”
The Majority Memorandum, a witness list, and witness testimony will be available here as they are posted.