On March 12, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius again told Congress the administration did not know how many Obamacare enrollees had paid for their plans.
It appears Secretary Sebelius was not telling the truth.
House Ways and Means Committee Chair Dave Camp (R-MI) and Congressman Kevin Brady (D-TX) have discovered the administration has been collecting the data, despite telling Congress they do not have the information.
The Hill reported:
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Tuesday saying she had been “evasive and perhaps misleading” in her testimony before the committee earlier this month.
Administration officials have repeatedly said they’re not able to break down enrollees by who has made a payment because they only have access to information about those selecting plans on the HealthCare.gov website, as consumers are expected to pay the insurers directly after enrolling.
Sebelius reiterated that claim in her March 12 testimony to the House panel.
But Reps. Camp (R-Mich.) and Kevin Brady (R-Tex.) say they have uncovered “new evidence” that “strongly suggests that the administration knows who has enrolled and paid their first month’s premium.”
The congressmen pointed to an online regulations portal run by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) that says insurers are required to inform the agency of “the full enrollment and payment profile” for consumers on a monthly basis.
Camp and Brady are demanding HHS provide them with the information immediately.
In their letter to Sebelius the House Ways and Means Committee found there is specific information about who has paid their premium that Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is collecting and using to make payments to insurers.
On January 16, 2014, CMS posted a series of FAQs on the www.regtap.info portal. The portal is used by insurers to receive basic information about how to receive payments, what information is required of them and in what format, etc. The Committee has obtained FAQ 671, which states,
“[S]ubmitters will include the full enrollment and payment profile for January (i.e. all active enrollments for January effectuated through January 15th) … The January restatement template should contain all enrollments effective during the month of January. It will capture what was already submitted to CMS in December (effectuated enrollments through 12/15) but will also capture enrollments effectuated after 12/15) … submitters will include the full enrollment and payment profile for February (i.e. all active enrollments for February effectuated through January 15th). It will include enrollments that were previously effectuated for January and that are still in place in February.”
Of course, if Sebelius did mislead Congress she would be in serious trouble.