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

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Release of Obamacare “Bulletin” Sidesteps Important Disclosure Requirements

Friday, January 13, 2012Joe Brenckle 202-224-2465

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is sidestepping several important disclosure requirements with the new health care law and is preventing Congress and the American public from being able to assess the true costs associated with the so-called “essential health benefits,” according to a letter sent today to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius from several House chairmen and Senate ranking members.

The letter was signed by Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.), Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.), and Education and the Workforce Chairman John Kline (R-Minn.) and their counterparts in the Senate, Senator Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Ranking Member on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, and Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Ranking Member on the Senate Finance Committee

“By issuing a ‘bulletin’ rather than a proposed rule, the Administration has sidestepped the requirement to publish a cost benefit analysis estimating the impact these mandates will have on health insurance premiums and the increased costs to the federal government,” the chairmen and ranking members wrote. “Additionally, the Administration has avoided publishing a list of unfunded mandates on states and the private sector by issuing a ‘bulletin’ rather than a proposed rule, and has also avoided publishing a list of regulatory alternatives.  Finally, the Administration is not required to respond to comments received regarding this ‘bulletin.’ Publishing a ‘bulletin rather than a proposed rule is the antithesis of an ‘open and transparent’ process.” 

You can read the full letter here.

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