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POLITICS: PennAve

House Republicans to receive briefing on Obamacare website

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Politics,White House,Brian Hughes,Obamacare,Health and Human Services,John Boehner,PennAve,Kathleen Sebelius,Eric Cantor

House Republicans will receive a briefing from Health and Human Services officials about the glitch-filled Obamacare website after being excluded from a meeting in which Democrats were given details about the troubled launch.

“It’s not clear why Republicans were excluded in the first place, but we look forward to getting answers to how the administration botched this enormous use of taxpayer dollars so badly,” said Brendan Buck, a spokesman for Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.

Gary Cohen, who handles insurance oversight for HHS, briefed House Democrats earlier Wednesday.

Buck said he would announce details of the Republican meeting when they become available.

The briefings on Capitol Hill come as Republicans and Democrats alike express growing frustration with the problem-plagued rollout of the federal website for public health exchanges.

Republicans have continually ripped the administration for not initially including them in discussions about the website’s technical snags.

“We still don't know these enrollment numbers,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., told reporters earlier Wednesday. "And HHS is blocking third-party verified traffic data. This is not transparency and this is adding to the confusion and the fear surrounding the rollout of Obamacare."

The White House has been unable to identify the cause of the problems or even how long it will take to correct the issues.

Four contractors responsible for the implementation of the website will testify on Capitol Hill Thursday. And HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will answer questions from lawmakers next Wednesday.

Staff Writer Steve Contorno contributed to this report.

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Brian Hughes

White House Correspondent
The Washington Examiner