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Public Statements

Exchange Information Disclosure Act

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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What is so interesting and one of the reasons we find it necessary to come and address these issues is Secretary Sebelius told us in December that 5,000 people a day were getting access to health care that they had not had before.

The other side of that story, which was not told, is 74,000 American families a day were getting cancelation notices. They were looking at one another across the dinner table and saying, Guess what, our insurance has been canceled.

It has had a devastating effect. And as we try to do oversight and due diligence and continue to push for that oversight and due diligence and carry it out, even this morning at the Energy and Commerce Committee, where we had Mr. Cohen, what we have found is it is very difficult to get information, even when we are sometimes hearing from employees admitting what they told us was wrong; but then we do not get the straight story.

So it is very appropriate that we require HHS to release weekly detailed reports about the exchanges, including their enrollment, their functionality, and efforts to address the technical issues at healthcare.gov.

It is absolutely appropriate because this is all being done with the taxpayers' money. The American taxpayers have paid for every bit of this. It is not the Federal Government's money. It is not President Obama's money. It is not Congress' money. It is the taxpayers' money. This is a failed rollout and a failed program.

This administration was supposed to be the most transparent administration in history. It has not been that. It is well documented that it hasn't been. Indeed, the rollout and the implementation of this law have been even less transparent. The reason, I think, is because there have been so many problems, such as millions of Americans losing access to their health insurance.

None of the information being shared by the administration regarding enrollment means much of anything. We talk about people that enrolled, but we don't know how many people have paid and how many people have completed that process. What are the demographics of the individuals that are enrolling?

All of this is information that the individual that is paying for this--the American taxpayer--deserves to know.

Who has paid for this insurance? The White House has backed away from using any measure of enrollment as a means to determine success.

As recently as September, Secretary Sebelius herself said that 7 million enrolled by the end of March would define success of the law. Well, is that 7 million that go to the Web site, put an insurance product in their cart, and then go think about it?

Mr. Speaker, when I was growing up, I spent a lot of time working in the retail industry selling clothes in a little dress shop. Every once in a while we would have somebody that would come in and put something on hold. They would say, I'm going to be back.

Well, we called them the "be-backs'' because, guess what, more often than not, they did not come back and complete that purchase. Yes, they put it on hold. Yes, they put it in an online shopping cart. But then they move away from it because this program is broken, it is too expensive to afford, and the American people do not want it.

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