Exasperation Marks Sen. Alexander’s Exchange At Obamacare Hearing

Tavenner answered questions from Alexander at a hearing of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee.

Tavenner answered questions from Alexander at a hearing of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee.

Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander went around in circles today with the woman charged with rolling out the Affordable Care Act.

Marilyn Tavenner directs the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Alexander sounded exasperated as he asked her why it was taking so long to see hard figures for how many people have signed up, what level of coverage they’re getting, and where they live. Tavenner says those numbers will be released next week, and reminded Alexander that the plan had always been for a monthly report.

Alexander: “But this is a little different, this is people who are making decisions, people who are going to lose their insurance starting January 1, people who have to sign up by December 15.”

Tavenner: “And I would say that’s all the more reason to do it monthly, because the fact is this is early on and people can go in and out and they don’t need to make payments until December.”

Alexander: “But the people who need to know about it are members of Congress who’ve appropriated $400 million.”

Alexander also repeatedly pointed out the contrast between thousands of cancelled insurance plans and the President’s claim that nobody would have to lose insurance they liked. Tavenner contends those plans could have been grandfathered in, an idea Alexander began to dispute as his time to ask questions ran out.


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