House Republicans today used a hearing on public health insurance exchange eligibility review procedures to attack the credibility of Obama administration officials.
Lawmakers questioned whether Kathleen Sebelius, the former secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), was correct on Jan. 1, 2014, when she certified that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) had an income and subsidy eligibility verification system in place, and whether HHS has an effective eligibility verification system in place today.
Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Va., tried to get Kay Daly, an assistant inspector general with the HHS Office of Inspector General, to give him her views on the current status of eligibility reviews for the consumers applying for private qualified health plan (QHP) coverage through the HHS-run exchanges.
“It sounds to me like, today, they do not have a fully operational back-end eligibility system,” Griffith said. “Isn’t that correct? Yes or no.”
Daly said HHS OIG looked only at exchange user eligibility inconsistency reviews for the period from Oct. 1, 2013, through Dec. 31, 2013.
“I can’t speak to what’s working right now,” Daly said. “I’m sorry.”
Griffith also tried to get Daly to tell him whether she believes Sebelius was correct when Sebelius certified that the exchanges had an eligibility verification system in place in January.
“She said it worked,” Griffith said. “It didn’t work. She would have been incorrect.”