House passes bill demanding full enrollment stats from HealthCare.gov

Rachel Stoltzfoos Staff Reporter
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The House of Representatives passed the Health Exchange Information Disclosure Act on Thursday, which would require weekly updates from the administration on the status of HealthCare.gov. It passed 259-154, with 33 votes coming from Democrats.

The bill would require the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to report on unique website visits, accounts created, qualified health plan selection and Medicaid enrollment. It would also require data on the number of people who are fully enrolled (have paid the first-month premium) and the age of exchange enrollees.

Nebraska Republican Rep. Lee Terry, who introduced the bill, said it’s an attempt to secure more transparency “from an administration that has done everything that it can so far to bury the facts when it comes to its signature healthcare law.”

“What is the true number of people who have effectuated enrollment by actually paying their first month premium?” he asked, according to The Huffington Post. “How many Americans have created an account or enrolled in Medicaid? What level of coverage have these people obtained? Where is a detailed description of problems identified with website functionality, actions taken to address these problems, identity of the contractors involved in fixing these problems?”

HHS answered some of these questions in the third of a series of monthly reports released Monday, stating that 53.2 million Americans have visited the site, 4.3 million have completed applications and 2.2 million have selected a Marketplace plan.

The report also included data on age and the level of coverage for the first time, stating that 24 percent of those enrolled are aged 18 to 34, and 79 percent of people selected a plan, including federal financial assistance.

There is still no data available on the number of people fully enrolled, or a detailed demographic breakdown. The report also acknowledges the data still has duplicate counts.

“None of the information being shared by the administration regarding enrollment means much of anything. We talk about people that enrolled, but we don’t know how many people have paid and how many people have completed that process,” said Tennessee Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn. “What are the demographics of the individuals that are enrolling? All of this is information that the individual that is paying for this, the American taxpayer, deserves to know.”

The bill is unlikely to pass in the Senate, and the White House voiced opposition to the bill, stating it would add “extraneous, costly, and unprecedented” reporting requirements to states and the federal government.

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