The chairman of the House oversight committee and ranking Republican member of the Senate health committee threatened to subpoena documents tied to the rocky rollout of Obamacare.
In a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Rep. Darrell Issa, California Republican, and Sen. Lamar Alexander, Tennessee Republican, demanded that she turn over information that could shed more light on what exactly went wrong with the healthcare.gov website, which has been plagued with problems.
“It is clear that you and other high-ranking HHS officials either provided false testimony to Congress or did not know how badly the development of the HealthCare.gov was proceeding,” they said in the letter. “Either scenario, if accurate, is inexcusable and demands accountability from your department.”
The request follows testimony Thursday on Capitol Hill, where government contractors for the Obamacare website said that the Obama administration waited until the last minute to test the website and refused to ask for a delay when problems arose.
Mr. Issa and Mr. Alexander said in their letter to Mrs. Sebelius that her office has stonewalled a previous Oct. 10 request for information and demanded that they receive the information related to the multiple problems associated with the Affordable Care Act no later then Monday.
“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,” they wrote. “It is unacceptable that you are providing information to numerous other outlets, but not to Congress.”
They said the site has been a “huge” and costly “failure” and questioned how the Obama administration and HHS officials could have so much confidence that the website would be ready before open enrollment in the state health care exchanged kicked off on Oct. 1.
“If you do not comply with the committees’ requests by 5:00 p.m. on October 28, 2013, the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will be forced to consider the use of compulsory process,” they said.