OVERNIGHT HEALTH: GOP again accuses Sebelius of misleading O-Care testimony

The chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee 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. 



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Sebelius reiterated that claim in her March 12 testimony to Ways and Means.



“As we have said previously, information about who has paid his or her premium is collected by individual issuers and is not reported to [the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services] directly by enrollees,” HHS spokeswoman Joanne Peters said in a statement. 


Republicans have held dozens of hearings on the botched ObamaCare rollout, and this is not the first time they’ve accused Sebelius of providing misleading testimony.



In January, House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) threatened to investigate Sebelius for “false and misleading” testimony to Congress. The administration rebuked Issa for making those charges, and delivered a point-by-point rebuttal of his accusations.

Jonathan Easley at The Hill reports.

Another GOP bill: The Republican author of a bill to dramatically weaken ObamaCare's birth-control mandate hinted Tuesday that the legislation could see a floor vote in the coming months. Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.), who has positive ties to leadership, said she has personal assurances from party chiefs that they are "committed" to her bill. Elise Viebeck at The Hill reports.

California: The ObamaCare exchange in California has agreed to a settlement with liberal groups requiring it to mail voter registration applications to the estimated 4 million people who have selected an insurance plan or enrolled in Medicaid in the state since the marketplace went live on Oct. 1, 2013. The ACLU of California and two other liberal groups, Demos and Project Vote, had threatened to sue Covered California, saying people who sought coverage under ObamaCare “did not receive an effective offer to register to vote as required by law.” Jonathan Easley at The Hill reports.

Supremes: The Supreme Court appeared sharply divided Tuesday over an ObamaCare mandate that requires employers to offer birth control in worker health plans, leaving in limbo a key provision of the embattled healthcare law. The case, ObamaCare’s second foray before the high court, pits the government against a pair of for-profit companies who claim they should be exempt from parts of the mandate because of religious objections to certain forms of birth control. Ben Goad at The Hill reports.

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