Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Griffith Statement on Obamacare's Lack of Transparency

From U.S. Representative Morgan Griffith:

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Griffith Statement on Continued Lack of Obamacare Transparency
Tuesday, October 21, 2014 – Congressman Morgan Griffith (R-VA) issued the following statement on the failure of Obama Administration officials to release health insurance rates for 2015 until after the November midterm elections:

“At a May Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations hearing, I asked representatives of some of the nation’s largest health insurance providers about their companies’ Obamacare rates for 2015.  The insurance executives would not commit to sharing their proposed rates with Congress, but did indicate that they would be submitting them to the Department of Health and Human Services and certain states by the end of June.”

“I have made it clear in the past that I want the President and Obamacare officials to release data on the premium data for the 2015 plans in a reasonable timeframe, and not play political games with this important information.  I even introduced a bill that would require the Department of Health and Human Services to release the information to Congress within 30 days of receiving it from insurers.  At the time, I introduced this bill in an effort to increase transparency and ensure that the American people are not kept in the dark for political reasons.  Clearly my efforts to have this Administration keep its promise to be transparent and not play political games with the Obamacare rate increases have been unsuccessful.”

“Instead of transparently sharing this information with the American people, the Administration has chosen to wait until after the midterm elections.  Why?  The answer is clear: prices are going up, and in some states they are going to go up a lot.  And the President is afraid to admit yet another failure of his Obamacare promises."

“Also notable is the fact that a former head* of Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (which is responsible for implementing Obamacare) has filed suit, arguing that HHS is improperly hiding this insurers’ requested rates for 2015 in violation of Obamacare itself.”

“The Administration’s failure to release this important data is a sure sign that it is bad news for the American consumer.  As the old saying goes, ‘The proof is in the pudding.’  But when the Obamacare cooks refuse to bring their ‘pudding’ out of the kitchen while the customers wait impatiently, one has to believe it’s a bitter dish.  Otherwise, the President and his allies would most certainly want to give the American people a taste.”

“I call on the President to do the right thing and release the new Obamacare insurance rates by Tuesday, October 28 – one week before the election – so the American people will know the facts before going to the polls.”

Video of Griffith questioning insurance providers about health insurance premium rates and other issues with Obamacare can be found here.

* http://www.findjustice.com/#!jay-angoff/cqkf

BACKGROUND:

On Friday, May 9, 2014, in an effort to increase transparency and ensure that the American people are not kept in the dark for political purposes, Griffith introduced the Insurance Rate Transparency Act (H.R. 4633).  This bill would require that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) submit specific health insurance premium increase information to Congress within 30 days of receiving it from insurance providers. "