House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa is threatening to issue subpoenas if the Department of Health and Human Services doesn't turn over requested documents related to the troubled rollout of the Obamacare website.
In a letter jointly penned by Issa, R-Calif., and Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander, the top Republican on the Senate health panel, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was given until 5 p.m. Monday to comply with their request for information about problems with the Affordable Care Act's federally-run health insurance marketplace website.
The lawmakers threatened to subpoena administration officials if HHS failed to provide the information.
Issa and Alexander wrote to Sebelius on Thursday complaining that an Oct. 10 request they made for information about HealthCare.gov was ignored.
“While you have refused to provide information to Congress, you have been a frequent guest on numerous news and television comedy programs subsequent to October 1, 2013,” the two lawmakers wrote. “It is unacceptable that you are providing information to numerous other outlets, but not to Congress.”
Meanwhile, Republican Sens. Charles Grassley of Iowa and Orrin Hatch of Utah announced Thursday that they are writing to the firms HHS hired to build the exchange website, demanding data related to their contracts and what they charged the government for their work.
Additionally, the GOP senators are writing to the insurance companies participating in the District of Columbia exchange, requesting information about how many D.C. residents have signed up for health insurance, a way for the lawmakers to get around the administration's vague reporting on how many Americans have actually signed up. Hatch is the ranking Republican on the Finance Committee; Grassley is the top Republican on Senate Judiciary.
“Since the Obama administration won’t say how many people have enrolled, we have no choice but to get this information from the insurance companies themselves,” Hatch said in a statement.
Health and Human Services announced Friday that it expects the problems with HealthCare.gov to be fixed by the end of November.