House Lawmakers Say HHS Is Obstructing Investigation On Obamacare Program Funding

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Juliegrace Brufke Capitol Hill Reporter
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House Republicans sent a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services Thursday demanding the agency provide documents for an oversight investigation on the funding of Obamacare’s Basic Health Program. The program was funded by the Obama’s administration for more than six months without congressional appropriations. 

Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady of Texas and Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton of Michigan sent a letter to HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell Thursday inquiring why the information had not been sent. Multiple requests for the documents were issued following a July briefing with the agency’s Assistant Secretary for Financial Resources Ellen Murray on the program’s implementation.

“Your November 13, 2015, response not only failed to provide all requested documents, but also improperly redacted information from the few documents HHS did produce,” the letter stated “Accordingly, on December 3, 2015, the Committees again wrote to you reiterating our request. Once again, HHS has failed to respond to the Committees’ request.”

Tens of millions of dollars have been spent on the Basic Health Plan, a program designed to provide states with alternative health care for low-income residents. These residents are ineligible for Medicaid, and would use the subsidized health care exchange if not for the program.

The lawmakers said the department has until Jan. 28 to release the information before they issue a subpoena.

“Your delay in producing this material to the Committee has frustrated the Committees’ investigation, and raises serious concerns about your commitment to congressional oversight,” they continued in the letter. “We urge you to comply fully with this request by immediately producing all responsive documents to the Committees without redactions.”

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