- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 3, 2014

President Obama hailed his health care law’s 8 million customers this spring, but a member of Congress wants to know why he can’t get a tally for the law’s small-business exchange.

Rep. Sam Graves, Missouri Republican and chairman of the Small Business Committee, wrote to the Obama administration Wednesday to reiterate his request for enrollment data from the federal and state Small Business Health Options Plans (SHOPs).

The small-business exchange was supposed to be a breezy way for employers to browse insurance plans and purchase coverage for their employees.

But online SHOP enrollment was delayed by one year on the federal exchange system that serves about three dozen states.

Some exchanges had their state-run SHOPs ready on time. Washington, D.C., for example, enrolled thousands of Congress members and staff who were required to get their health care through the exchanges.

Most of the Obamacare focus has been on the peaks and valleys of enrollment on the individual-market side of things, but more attention will shift to the SHOPs as the law’s second enrollment period approaches.

“As you know, the SHOPs opened, although without online enrollment and many promised features, on October 1, 2013,” Mr. Graves wrote to Marilyn Tavenner, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. “Over seven months later, we still do not have any federal and some state SHOP enrollment data. I continue to be concerned that HHS or CMS has not compiled and/or released this information.”