US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions

House Passes Alexander Bill Requiring Weekly Reports on Obamacare Exchanges

Alexander urges Senate consideration of legislation to provide information on exchanges to consumers, Congress, states

Thursday, January 16, 2014Liz Wolgemuth 202-228-4729

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“Before the Internet, RCA knew how many records Elvis was selling, Ford knew how many cars it was selling and McDonald’s knew how many hamburgers it was selling. It would be laughable in the Internet age that the Obama administration still can’t tell us how many Americans have actually enrolled in Obamacare, if the consequences of this historic mistake weren’t so serious for families and states.”

– Lamar Alexander

WASHINGTON, Jan. 16 – U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) announced today that the U.S. House of Representatives had passed his legislation requiring the Obama administration to provide weekly reports on the Obamacare exchanges, including information states need to administer Medicaid and make other important decisions.

“Before the Internet, RCA knew how many records Elvis was selling, Ford knew how many cars it was selling and McDonald’s knew how many hamburgers it was selling,” Alexander said. “It would be laughable in the Internet age that the Obama administration still can’t tell us how many Americans have actually enrolled in Obamacare, if the consequences of this historic mistake weren’t so serious for families and states.”

The Exchange Information Disclosure Act would require the Obama administration to provide weekly reports to Congress, states and the public about the 36 federally run exchanges, including easily tracked data such as the number of individuals who have visited the site and the number who have successfully enrolled, their zip code and the level of coverage they’ve obtained. The House version, by U.S. Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.) passed the House by a vote of 259 to 154.

More than three months after the Obamacare exchanges opened, the Obama administration still is not disclosing how many Americans have fully enrolled in the exchanges.  Instead, it has only released the number of Americans who have selected a plan, which is similar to counting the number of shoppers who have placed items in their cart but not yet actually made a purchase. In addition to leaving it unclear how well the exchanges and the signup website are working, this leaves states without data related to Medicaid and other aspects of the law.

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