Harkin blocks attempt to require ObamaCare enrollment updates

Senate Democrats blocked a bill Tuesday that would have required the Obama administration to provide weekly reports to Congress about ObamaCare health exchange enrollment.

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) introduced the bill after HealthCare.gov experienced a myriad of technical “glitches” after its launch earlier this month.

“The Obama administration can’t tell us how many people have signed up for ObamaCare,” Alexander said on the Senate floor Tuesday. “Not only are they not telling us, they’ve done their best to keep us from finding out. … We shouldn’t have to rely on anonymous sources to find out what is happening.”

Alexander asked for a unanimous consent agreement to pass his bill, but Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) objected, saying it would divert resources from the agency that could be used to make the website better.

Alexander’s bill would have also required updates on efforts to solve the technical problems that have prevented people from enrolling online, and information about ObamaCare "navigators" that help people enroll.

The Obama administration has so far refused to provide any hard information about the number of people who have tried to sign up for insurance under the health insurance exchanges. But has hired a consultant to fix the website problems by November. Alexander vowed to continue to push his legislation until he gets answers.

The administration has delayed the sign-up deadline by six-weeks, but some Democrats have even suggested that isn’t enough of a delay considering the website failures.

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