Exchange Information Disclosure Actby Senator Bill Cassidy
Posted on 2014-01-16
CASSIDY. Mr. Speaker, I kind of keep asking myself why we would
not want to provide transparency.
If the Federal Government is going to impose a massive bureaucratic regime involving the American people, why should we not at least require them to be accountable for the success or failure of that regime? The Exchange Information Disclosure Act requires accountability and transparency, which has been, frankly, elusive from the administration on these issues. And, indeed, before committees and before Americans there has been a tendency to give information which is misleading.
For example, enrollment numbers are calculated by the numbers who sign up for coverage, not those who actually pay for their first month's premium. In reality, unless you pay for that first month's premium, you are not enrolled. Coverage does not become effective until these are paid; and history shows many will sign up who will never actually enroll.
The American people are affected by this. They are paying for it. We are their employees, so to speak. They pay our salary. They have a right to know, and the only way to know is to see the results.
I keep on smiling in kind of an angry sort of way when I think about those folks who came to testify about the Web site.
Two weeks before it was to open, we were told that it was ready and that there were no problems. I specifically asked if the Spanish- language Web site was ready. Oh, yes, there's no problem. We can just stand it up.
In truth, none of that was true. The only way we learned it was not true was when the numbers came out, it was clear that folks were not enrolling. So everything we had been told was exposed as a lie, and yet we would not have known had we not seen those enrollment figures.
Compliance should not be difficult. Insurance companies know on a daily basis how many people have clicked on, how many people have signed up, how many checks they receive. Insurance companies know this on a daily basis. Certainly, Mr. Speaker, the Federal Government can tell the American people these results on a weekly basis.
The Exchange Information Disclosure Act is a commonsense piece of legislation that all my colleagues who champion transparency and accountability should support. All it does is ensure full disclosure of the most important data points needed to determine what is really going on with the President's health care law's implementation.
It is vitally important for the public, and it is vitally important for us as we attempt to do the American people's will in our oversight of the program.