I rise today in support of H.R. 3362, the Exchange Information Disclosure Act. There is widespread agreement that the ObamaCare rollout was a failure. Most of us believe the Administration’s lack of transparency and truthfulness with Congress and the American people caused many of the problems.
Since the beginning of the rollout, I have pressed the Administration to release enrollment data to Congress. That data, including who is actually enrolling and what the mix of those who signed up looks like, are the kind of hard facts we need before us to evaluate how this fundamental restructuring of our health care system is really operating.
Yet, the Administration did not provide that long-promised transparency. Instead, I was forced to subpoena the Administration to get any information.
While I have received some of what I requested, it is not enough for Congress to understand the true impact of this law.
It is clear that more than half way through open enrollment the Administration is failing to meet its own goal of 7 million enrollees by March 31st.
Last week, the Administration released data that showed it has failed to meet an even more important goal – the right mix of young and healthy enrollees.
The reality is that you need a good balance of young and healthy individuals in order to offset the more expensive costs of those who are older and less healthy. Without enough young and healthy enrollees, millions of Americans, including those who have had their plan cancelled as a result of the President’s broken promise, will see higher costs and fewer choices. With the little data we have, we can see this is exactly what is happening.
The American people deserve better than the Administration’s empty promises – they deserve to know what is really going on. Additionally, the Administration has not provided any information on the number of people who have completed enrollment – we don’t know how many people have paid their premium.
And, taxpayers do not know how many people are receiving tax credits. There is no harm to national security if the Administration provides this information to the Congress, the media and the American people. But there may be harm to an individual’s health security if their interests are not protected.
Frankly, I believe this Administration cares more about implementing this law than protecting the health care of American families.
The American people have every right to know this information and the future of their health care. Having this data will not change the President’s broken promises that “if you like your plan, you can keep it,” or his promise that families will see a $2,500 reduction in their premiums.
However, it will undoubtedly affect Americans’ health care future. This is not just arbitrary data – this information will determine how much premiums will increase next year, whether access to care will become more limited and how many insurers may no longer offer coverage, and whether or not you can keep seeing your current doctor.
This Administration’s failed rollout has given the American people little confidence that they can effectively oversee the overhaul of one-sixth of the economy. What possible reason, other than politics, could there be for the Administration not releasing this information?
This is data that Congress and the American people deserve to know, and that the Administration should readily and willingly provide. I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support this bill today. And I call on the Senate to take quick action to move this commonsense legislation forward.