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GOP wants names of HHS officials involved in botched state exchanges

 

House Republicans are pushing the Obama administration to release the names of federal officials involved in awarding grants to troubled health insurance exchanges around the country.

The letter from Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) furthers the GOP's effort to investigate and criticize failed exchanges at the state level, including Cover Oregon and Maryland Health Connection.

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Upton and several colleagues accused the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) of spending $1.3 billion on seven marketplaces where serious problems persist.

"A billion dollars is a steep price to pay for incompetence," Upton said in a statement. "And the exchanges in the seven states, none of which have delivered on their promise, now demand even more taxpayer dollars to be fixed or completely rebuilt."

The letter asked HHS for a list of names of people involved in awarding the grants, details on the review process, and any other requests for funding from the exchanges.

The seven states receiving additional scrutiny are Massachusetts, Maryland, Oregon, Nevada, Hawaii, Minnesota and Vermont.

Upton also asked HHS to make certain officials available for a briefing that focused on the exchanges in four states.

State governments are currently in the process of deciding whether to run their own exchanges next year or cede the task to HHS.

Nevada and Oregon have chosen to scrap their broken enrollment systems and join HealthCare.gov, and Massachusetts may follow suit if it cannot fix its exchange on time.

Hawaii, Minnesota, Maryland and Vermont have indicated that they will try to continue with their own marketplaces.