Congressman Lee Terry (R-Neb.) has a proposal before the House that would require the Administration of President Barack Obama to give weekly updates to Congress on the progress of the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Predictably, the White House is against it.
The bill, dubbed the Exchange Information Disclosure Act, seeks to force the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to report on Obamacare enrollment and payment data to Congress on a weekly basis, as well as break down the demographic composition of enrollees and compare the matrix of paying insurance customers with that of new Medicaid enrollees. There would also be a tally of ongoing functional problems with Healthcare.gov and a rolling report on Obamacare Navigators’ training and certification.
The bill will come before the House this week, but the likelihood of it making it to the Senate floor — should it pass the Republican-controlled House — is anybody’s guess.
Breitbart described the effect of such a law as that of a “rolling subpoena,” an evergreen law that would compel HHS to begin sharing with Congress data that it’s so far sheltered from the public.
It obviously smells like politics; no Democrat would have ever proposed this sort of constraint on a Democratic Presidential Administration. But Terry is right when he questions the Obama Administration’s self-promoting claim of “transparency” and points out that HHS is simply not going to voluntarily share politically damaging news about Obamacare with any frequency, if at all.
“The American people have a right to know what’s happening with their health care coverage,” he said last week. “If you have nothing to hide, then there is no reason why the President and Congressional Democrats shouldn’t support the immediate passage of the Exchange Information Disclosure Act.”
Maybe so. One would have hoped that the President and Congressional Democrats would have simply shared a single conviction that HHS is responsible to deliver, without compulsion or Congressional intervention, the public’s business with the public.
The Obama Administration is pushing Democrats in Congress to go against the measure, claiming the law would frivolously waste taxpayer money. But the Congressional Budget Office has already calculated that the law will not cost a dime to implement. Someone just has to show up each week and tell Congress what only HHS and a few Administrative insiders already know — even if that news is underwhelming for those who’ve supported Obamacare.