House to Legislate “Transparency” Regarding Obamacare Data (Finally)

transparencyHouse Republicans have plans to introduce legislation this week that will require the Administration to reveal the most intimate statistical information related to Obamacare.  The Exchange Information Disclosure Act, or H.R. 3362, will require weekly reports on the initiation of new accounts, unique website visitors, the exact number of enrollees there were in a qualified plan and the level of their coverage. There is also a stipulation for the reporting of the weekly progress being made on repairs to the Obamacare website. Pertinent information will be required to be reported on a state-by-state basis.

Bill H.R. 3362 is being sponsored by Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.) in the House and a Senate version is being sponsored by Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.). Senator Alexander is quoted as saying, “There is no reason why HHS can’t provide the data on a regular basis.  He further opined, “With Wikileaks and Edward Snowden spilling our beans every day, what’s happening on the Obamacare exchanges is the only secret left in Washington. The National Security Administration should learn some lessons from Secretary Sebelius.”

Although the bill does not require the reporting of specifics on how many young healthy versus aging high-risk people enroll, it does require the government to identify enrollees by zip code. These markers could conceivably be used to identify particular groups. Certain demographics are extremely important to the functionality of Obamacare, as it depends heavily on the participation of the young healthy population to support high-risk groups and the aging.

Another issue that has raised concern with the GOP is the Obamacare navigator.  H.R. 3362 will address these concerns.  There is a requirement that the government must identify their navigators and provide their contact information.  They are also required to provide information on which organization and subcontractor they work with.

In August of 2012 Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported that there were currently 53 million uninsured persons in the United States. This figure includes millions of illegal aliens.  Due to the less than optimal rollout of Obamacare only 2.1 million individuals have enrolled.  There is no certainty that this figure is correct due to the lack of reliable reporting by the government.  One of the primary arguments made by the Obama Administration concerning the need to pass the Affordable Care Act was providing insurance for the uninsured.  However, even if the stated number, 2.1 million enrollees, is correct what about the other 50.9 million?  Will there be a surge of enrollees over the next few months?  The success or failure of the President’s namesake hangs in the balance.

President Obama has assured the public, “If you’re one of the 30 million Americans who don’t yet have health insurance, starting in 2014, this law will offer you an array of quality, affordable, private health insurance plans to choose from.”  The year 2014 will certainly reveal if these statements come to fruition.

Congress, as well as the general public, has grown increasingly wary of the lack of transparency the administration has been willing to afford them and it would seem as though legislators are about to do something about it. It would appear to any reasonable person that the information is available.  Why is this administration intent on treating it as confidential or privileged data to which not even the members of Congress are allowed access?

Members of Congress will have a challenging week or weeks ahead. No doubt Sen. Harry Reid will oppose any attempt to expose Obamacare numbers to scrutiny. It would seem but a sad statement to the condition of our government when members of Congress have to pass laws to force departments they created to give them information that is needed to evaluate a program that is literally affecting the daily lives of their constituents.  Contrary to reports by some in the Main Stream Media, these people want reliable information and they expect those that represent them to get it.

Correct me if I am wrong, but this would appear to me as a classical example of the tail wagging the dog.

JoAnn Lewis

Tennessee PolitiChick JoAnn Lewis serves as coordinator for the Rhea Liberty Alliance and is also a member of other area and national conservative groups. You can follow her commentaries on Facebook, Twitter and other conservative venues. She posts as Akumaleva and Boomerblaze.

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