House Republicans are asking President Obama’s top health official to tell them how many people have enrolled in health coverage through online insurance markets tied to the new health care law.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and other administration officials have declined to release enrollment figures from HealthCare.gov, a federally run website designed to help those without employer-based insurance find coverage, or aggregate totals from state-run markets under the Affordable Care Act.
Officials have said they plan to release enrollment data at a later date, and they say they do not even have any numbers to provide at this time.
On Tuesday, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce wrote to Mrs. Sebelius to demand the figures.
They pointed to recent testimony that suggested the online portals were ready for launch at the start of the month, only to see numerous reports of computer glitches and long wait times on the websites.
Republican lawmakers said they are demanding the numbers because news reports suggest the tally is quite low, despite the administration’s boasts of millions of visitors to the sites.
“For the last three-and-a-half years, the administration repeatedly promised that everything was ‘on track’ for enrollment, but widespread reports of website failures and the administration’s lack of transparency suggest otherwise,” said Rep. Fred Upton, Michigan Republican, who chair the committee. “Although the administration was quick to boast how many people visited their website the first week, they have been silent on the most important numbers of all, enrollment.”