Alexander on Fox: “Unacceptable that Millions of Americans Have to Buy Insurance on a Website that Doesn't Work or Be Fined by the I.R.S."
His bill requires weekly reports on exchanges: “Even before the Internet age, McDonald’s could tell you how many hamburgers it was selling every day”
Wednesday, October 23, 2013Liz Wolgemuth 202-228-4729
“This isn't really complicated information. [I’d like to know] how many people tried to sign up? How many were successful? What zip code are they in? What level of insurance did they buy? Here in Tennessee, people are finding when they get on [Healthcare.gov] that their individual insurance might cost twice as much as it did before. Their family insurance might cost twice as much as it did before." --Sen. Lamar Alexander
NASHVILLE, Oct. 23 -- U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the senior Republican on the Senate health committee, today told Fox News’s “Happening Now” (Video HERE) that he’s going to introduce a bill next week when the Senate reconvenes to “force” the administration to provide answers about the Obamacare rollout.
“What we have right now is millions of Americans who are being told they have to buy insurance…on a website that doesn’t work, or be fined by the Internal Revenue Service. Now that’s completely unacceptable,” Alexander said. “We want to know what is happening on the exchanges. We hear that half of 1 percent are all that were successful in the first week. I’d like to know how many were successful. I’d like to know what level of insurance they bought, what their zip code is. That ought to be information in the Internet age that’s available every single day. It’s Congress’s job to have oversight over this.”
Alexander announced yesterday he would introduce a bill requiring the administration to provide weekly reports to Congress and to states on Obamacare enrollment, efforts to resolve the site’s technological problems, and information about organizations contracted as navigators. Alexander has voted more than two dozen times to get rid of Obamacare, which he has called “an historic mistake.”
Alexander said today: “I’ve asked the administration for a lot of information and I get no answers at all. So, we’re going to introduce a law next week when the Senate reconvenes, and we’re going to force it.”
He added: “This is the Internet age—even before the Internet age, McDonald’s could tell you how many hamburgers it was selling every day. If the administration were rolling this out properly, it would report every day on how many people visited, how many were successful, what their zip codes were. So, they would be proud of their new health care law.”
“All this secrecy,” Alexander said, “this business of telling health insurers not to even let the people know how many people are signing up—that breeds a lack of confidence in what you’re doing, it’s not a winning strategy, it wouldn’t work in the private sector.
“I would expect the Senate Democrats to help me join in oversight of this law and let’s have some information about it,” he said. “I would think that since Democrats passed the law that they’d like people to know how it’s working.”
Alexander said of his legislation: “This isn't really complicated information. [I’d like to know] how many people tried to sign up? How many were successful? What zip code are they in? What level of insurance did they buy? Here in Tennessee, people are finding when they get on [Healthcare.gov] that their individual insurance might cost twice as much as it did before. Their family insurance might cost twice as much as it did before. That is important information.”
Alexander also told Fox News: “Somebody needs to be on the flagpole for this and somebody needs to be fired. If the President isn’t going to resign, he should fire somebody else.”
# # #
- Harkin: Today’s Enrollment Numbers Show the Affordable Care Act is Working [Chairman]
- Alexander, Thune, Hatch Urge Census Bureau to Keep Questions on Uninsured in Order to Understand Impact of Obamacare [Ranking Member]
- Alexander Statement on Administration Changes to Health Insurance Questions in Census Bureau’s Annual Survey [Ranking Member]
- Harkin, Durbin, Waxman, Rockefeller & Members of Congress: Report Shows E-Cigarette Marketing Campaigns Lighting Up Among Young Users [Chairman]
- Alexander, Burr: Unionization is No Solution for College Athletes [Ranking Member]
- Harkin Statement on the Resignation of Secretary Kathleen Sebelius [Chairman]