In the face of CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner’s (she of the Federal government (!) organization charged with the task of integrating the various software packages that go into Obamacare’s disastrously failed HealthCare.gov) refusal to provide, under oath, actual enrollment numbers to the House Ways and Means Committee last Friday, coupled with HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ similar refusal, Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R, MI) now is threatening to subpoena the data, and to require those data to be delivered not just in a one time good deal response, but daily, as of 1700 that day.
These folks refuse all releases short of that subpoena, instead promising to release the first numbers in mid-November. So far, to their credit, they’ve not said “Period,” but we can look forward to their stonewalling the subpoena.
Their refusal and their 6-week delay, at the least, drive the question: of what are they so afraid that they can’t bring themselves to release the data they have? And they certainly have the data now: insurance companies have the data; they’re the ones having to service the signed-up-for policies. Sebelius and Tavenner certainly have the data now: they’re in the HealthCare.gov databases used for collating and transmitting to the servicing insurance companies the sign-up actions. Hackers have access to these data, why can’t a Congressional committee exercising its oversight duty? Why can’t we Americans on whom this project has been foisted over our loud, long objections?
It’s not just the Ways and Means Committee that’s being stonewalled, either. Also last week, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R, CA) was forced to subpoena HHS in order to get documentation “related to technical problems with HealthCare.gov, the testing that went into the website, and the number of people who have enrolled and attempted to enroll” through HealthCare.gov because Sebelius is hiding those data, also. Which drives a similar question: of what is the administration afraid here, that they’re so resistant to releasing these data?
What are these folks covering up?
An interesting aside:
A new Kaiser Family Foundation poll that says the number of people who say they understand how the law affects their own family is up 8 points to 55%. However, the per centage of people who have a generally unfavorable opinion of the law remained virtually unchanged at 44%, indicating that people don’t seem to like the law any better, even as they learn more about it.
This is weak porridge on which to draw firm conclusions, but it’s certainly indicative of where further inquiry would yield value.