Growing questions about President Barack Obama and Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’s mismanagement of the unpopular Obamacare program have prompted a House vote this Friday on a pivotal bill that would provide greater transparency by requiring weekly HHS reports on the status of HealthCare.gov.
The Exchange Information Disclosure Act (H.R. 3362) would require Sebelius to regularly report the number of paying Obamacare enrollees, Healthcare.gov metrics, Medicaid enrollments, and basic demographic data to monitor Obamacare’s problems and viability. Senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE) authored the bill.
“This is about practicality, not politics,” said Terry. “The American people have a right to know what’s happening with their health care coverage.”
Committee vice chairman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) agrees. “It’s well past time the administration be transparent and upfront with the American people.”
Friday’s vote on the measure comes as management experts, government watchdog groups, and members of Congress raise serious questions about Obamacare’s calamitous implementation. Politico reported last week that several management experts blasted Obama and Sebelius for their lack of executive management and oversight during the three-and-a-half years leading up to Obamacare’s disastrous unveiling.
“No one asked you to write code or be a technical expert,” Kellogg School of Management professor Daniel Diermeier told Politico, “but the expectation is you can set up a process. Companies do it every day.”
A Government Accountability Institute (GAI) report featured by Politico made headlines when it revealed that the official White House calendar and the Politico presidential calendar record a single one-on-one meeting between Obama and Sebelius in the over three-and-a-half years leading up to the Oct. 1 Obamacare launch.
Presidential adviser to both Democratic and Republican presidents David Gergen said on CNN that the GAI report demonstrated “a case of near malfeasance” by Obama. Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA) wrote a letter to Sebelius requesting the dates of the “countless” meetings HHS claims she had with Obama, none of which appear on the official White House calendar.
Terry says increasing transparency in government should be a bipartisan effort.
“If you have nothing to hide, then there is no reason why the President and Congressional Democrats shouldn’t support the immediate passage of the Exchange Information Disclosure Act,” said Terry.
Obama has said his administration is “the most transparent administration in history.”