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

The Role of States in Higher Education

Alexander Supports Subpoena for Exchange Documents Requested by Alexander, House Oversight Chairman Issa

Says “I hope it will force open the administration’s black box of secrets that are keeping Congress and the entire American public in the dark”

Thursday, October 31, 2013Liz Wolgemuth 202-228-4729

Says “I hope it will force open the administration’s black box of secrets that are keeping Congress and the entire American public in the dark”

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“We shouldn’t have to issue a subpoena or pass a law to get the administration to tell us basic information about the Obamacare exchanges, but apparently that’s what it’s going to take.” – Lamar Alexander

WASHINGTON, Oct. 31 – The senior Republican on the Senate health committee today released the following statement in support of a subpoena issued by House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa for Obamacare exchange documents requested by Alexander and Issa:

Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said: “We shouldn’t have to issue a subpoena or pass a law to get the administration to tell us basic information about the Obamacare exchanges, but apparently that’s what it’s going to take. I support Chairman Issa’s subpoena for Secretary Sebelius to provide the documents we’ve requested, and hope it will force open the administration’s black box of secrets that are keeping Congress and the entire American public in the dark.”

Alexander and Issa sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Sebelius on October 10th requesting documents related to the major problems with the Obamacare exchange website by October 24th. On October 25th, they sent a follow up letter requesting Sebelius provide the documents by October 28th or face the possibility of a subpoena.

Alexander this week attempted to pass his legislation requiring weekly reports on the Obamacare exchanges, but was blocked by Senate Democrats.

He said then: “Before the Internet, RCA knew how many records Elvis was selling every day. Before the Internet, Ford knew how many cars they were selling every day. Before the Internet, McDonald’s could tell you how many hamburgers it had sold each day. Yet the Obama administration cannot tell us how many Americans have tried to sign up for Obamacare. We ought to know that, taxpayers ought to know it, and we'll keep trying other ways to get the information the American people deserve to have.”

The six-page 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 reports would also be required to contain information on the department’s efforts to resolve the site’s widespread technical problems.

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