KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

CMS Head Tavenner Set To Testify Tuesday About On Capitol Hill

Republican lawmakers on Tuesday will question Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Marilyn Tavenner over's troubled rollout, taking the stage in a debate that could bolster their political fortunes on the health law.

The Associated Press: GOP Ready To Turn Health Care Website Woes Into A Battlefield
Republicans plan to seek answers from Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on the Obama administration's troubled start for its health care website to buy insurance, and are raising concerns about the privacy of information that applicants submit under the new system (Thomas, 10/28).

CBS News: Obamacare Glitches Give Republicans A Chance To Get Healthy
When House Republicans return to Washington Tuesday, they will get their first crack at questioning high-level members of the administration about the troubled rollout of the site. For years, the GOP has been making hay over the perceived shortcomings of the health care law, and now a major problem -- one of operations, not politics -- has fallen into their laps. Now comes the challenge: can they proceed with a light touch and not overplay their hand? (Kaplan, 10/29).

The New York Times: Health Site Puts Agency And Leader In Hot Seat
Ten days before opened for business, Marilyn Tavenner, the obscure federal bureaucrat whose agency oversaw the creation of the troubled online insurance marketplace, had a bad omen. It was a Sunday, and her mobile device was on the fritz, forcing her to go into the office. “It reminded me that I can still be brought to my knees by a malfunctioning BlackBerry,” she joked in late September, recounting her technology woes to a group of insurance executives. Nobody at [CMS] is joking now (Stolberg, 10/28).

The Washington Post: Medicare Chief Marilyn Tavenner To Testify Before Congress About
On Tuesday, Tavenner will be the first Obama administration official to testify before Congress about the efforts of her agency -- the Centers for Medicare and Medcaid Services -- to implement the 2010 law. The agency recently hired contractor Quality Software Services Inc. to be the general manager for the effort to fix the troubled Web site. Tavenner is likely to face a barrage of questions about the lead-up to the site's botched debut -- as well as the administration's previous claims that everything was on track for a successful launch (Kliff, 10/28).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Medicare Chief Tavenner Faces Lawmakers' Questions Over Botched Health Overhaul Rollout
Trying to earn a second chance, the senior administration official closest to the implementation of the health care law's malfunctioning enrollment website will answer questions from Congress at the start of a pivotal week. Medicare Chief Marilyn Tavenner will be questioned Tuesday by the House Ways and Means Committee not only on what went wrong with, but also whether lawmakers can trust Obama administration promises to have things running efficiently by the end of November (10/29).

Politico: Somehow, Marilyn Tavenner Still Has Backers
Plenty of people have called for heads to roll after the Obamacare rollout -- including that of Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of Health and Human Services. But so far, they haven't called for the head of Marilyn Tavenner, the administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which oversaw the office that created (Cunningham, 10/28).

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