Exchange Information Disclosure Actby Representative Todd C. Young
Posted on 2014-01-16
YOUNG of Indiana. Mr. Speaker, since the launch of open
enrollment and healthcare.gov on October 1, I have heard repeated
stories of frustration from my constituents trying to enroll in the
The President and his administration have tried to assure us time and again that the Web site is improving and that Americans are enrolling.
Unfortunately, neither the stories I have been told, nor the claims of this administration, are easy to verify because HHS is giving us very little data to go off of. Now, that is a shame, because one of the greatest constitutional obligations of the legislative branch is robust oversight of the executive branch--to be sure that laws are working and being enforced as intended.
But there is an even bigger shame here. In August of 2013, HHS estimated that approximately 900,000 individuals in my home State of Indiana were uninsured. This week, HHS offered us a progress report. Now, can you guess how many Hoosiers, according to this report, actually selected a plan through healthcare.gov as of December 28? Only 30,000. Now, that means, according to the HHS estimates, the Obama administration estimates 29 out of every 30 uninsured Hoosiers have not selected a plan through healthcare.gov.
That 30,000 figure, by the way, is suspect in itself, to put it charitably. Since HHS is only reporting those who put a plan in a shopping cart, we don't know how many actually went through with the purchase.
Now, with a big deadline coming up for the individual mandate tax penalty, it is imperative that Congress understands exactly how many people are in compliance with the law. Merely selecting a plan won't help you avoid being taxed by the IRS.
That is why I am a strong supporter of the Exchange Information Disclosure Act. The Obama administration should be required to provide the American people and Congress weekly reports on the status of healthcare.gov. They should be required to tell us how many are actually purchasing plans. They should be required to tell us all sorts of additional data points they are already tracking that will help Congress perform our oversight role on behalf of the American people.
I urge my colleagues to support this measure here in the House and, hopefully, in the Senate.