Officials Vow ‘Improvement, But Not Perfection’ For Healthcare.gov
Two months before the beginning of the next open enrollment period for government-subsidized health insurance, administration officials promised smoother operation of the website used by millions of people to sign up for coverage.
The Hill: IRS Chief: ‘Whenever We Can, We Follow The Law’
During another grueling hearing on the ObamaCare rollout, the head of the IRS tried to offer lawmakers an assurance about the soon-to-open enrollment period. “Whenever we can, we follow the law,” IRS Commissioner John Koskinen told the House Ways and Means subcommittee on health on Wednesday. Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), who leads the subcommittee, immediately expressed his concern with the remarks. Lawmakers spent a majority of Wednesday's hearing grilling Koskinen and Andy Slavitt, HealthCare.gov's fix-it man, on how they would verify that consumers were providing correct income information as they signed up for insurance subsidies (Ferris, 9/10).
McClatchy: Republicans Grill Federal Officials Ahead Of 2nd Obamacare Enrollment Period
Two months before the second enrollment period begins to purchase health insurance through the online marketplaces set up by the Affordable Care Act, Congress is asking if it's going to go more smoothly this year. The federal website, HealthCare.gov, has been plagued with problems and technical glitches since its initial launch on Oct. 1. This summer, the site was successfully hacked for the first time, raising further questions about its security (Westerman, 9/10).
Kaiser Health News: Health On The Hill: HHS Official: Healthcare.gov Updates Will Be 'Improvement But Not Perfection'
Kaiser Health News staff writer Mary Agnes Carey and Politico Pro's Jennifer Haberkorn discuss testimony before a House subcommittee during which a key Obama administration official lays out the updates that HHS is making to the online marketplaces before enrollment begins in November (9/10).
Meanwhile, the Associated Press looks at the congressional to-do list -
The Associated Press: House, Senate Debate Measures Going Nowhere
On both ends of the Capitol, the parties controlling Congress are happily showcasing futility. Less than two months before pivotal congressional elections, Republicans were set Thursday to muscle legislation through the House that would let insurers continue selling health coverage that falls short of standards required by President Barack Obama’s health care law. The measure was sure to pass but then die in the Democratic-run Senate, and the White House promised an Obama veto in any event. Even so, the vote would let Republicans highlight their repeated efforts to debilitate the health care law. It will also dare Democrats to oppose an idea that appeals to some voters: letting them keep insurance they already have, an Obama promise that proved untrue for some consumers (9/10).
And a federal probe regarding health policy and insider trading continues -
The Wall Street Journal: Washington Trading Probe Broadens To Hedge Funds
Federal investigators have uncovered a flurry of communications between a Washington research firm and several hedge funds, opening a new front in an insider-trading probe focused on the firm's 2013 investor alert about a change in government health-care policy. The Wall Street Journal has previously reported that the Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating whether anyone in the government illegally leaked word of the announcement to Height Securities. Now, the agency is looking at whether hedge funds violated securities rules by trading on the resulting alert to Height Securities' clients (Mullins, Pulliam and Chung, 9/10).