Week ahead: Back to ObamaCare in the House

House Republicans are hoping to seize attention this week with a vote requiring the Obama administration to produce weekly updates on activity and fixes at HealthCare.gov.

The measure from Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.) responds to frustration with federal health officials’ pace of disclosure about the healthcare reform law’s rollout, which has disappointed the media and critics of the Affordable Care Act.

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The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is releasing enrollment data on a monthly basis and providing new details about the website repair effort sporadically. But much is still unknown about the precise actions taken to shore up HealthCare.gov and which players were involved.

Terry said his bill attempts to uncover these answers.

“Where is a detailed description of problems identified with website functionality, actions taken to address these problems, identity of the contractors involved in fixing these problems?” Terry wrote in a Huffington Post op-ed on Friday. “Policymakers and the American people alike have a right to know the facts in real-
time.”

The vote will happen no earlier than Wednesday, and is likely to pull away Democrats who want to support greater disclosure about ObamaCare despite President Obama’s opposition.

Friday’s House vote to require notification of security breaches on the law’s marketplaces gained support from 67 Democrats who ignored arguments that the event was meant to discourage enrollment.

House Republicans will follow this week’s vote with three hearings intended to call attention to flaws in the healthcare rollout.

The House Oversight Committee will look at the HHS’s “own concerns” about HealthCare.gov’s security, while an Energy and Commerce subpanel will grill deputy Medicare-Medicaid administrator Gary Cohen about what’s to come in 2014.

The House Committee on Science, Space and Technology will also meet Thursday to explore the “Consequences of Stolen Identity.”

The rest of the week will see events related to ObamaCare sign-ups and women’s health.

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will travel to Tampa, Fla., on Monday to discuss enrollment with Mayor Bob Buckhorn, and NARAL Pro-Choice America will release its annual abortion rights report on Tuesday. The study will grade all 50 states, and discuss crisis pregnancy centers.