OVERNIGHT HEALTH: Issa threatens perjury probe of Sebelius

House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) on Wednesday accused Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen SebeliusKathleen SebeliusBiden seeks to use the bully pulpit he has on COVID-19 Biden unveils COVID-19 task force Biden's COVID-19 crisis team takes shape as virus rages MORE of providing “false and misleading” testimony to Congress and threatened to open an investigation.

In a letter to Sebelius, Issa said he would give her an opportunity to “clarify or amend” her testimony prior to “further investigative action by the Committee.”


Issa said he would give Sebelius time to review and alter her testimony before moving ahead with an investigation.

HHS spokeswoman Joanne Peters said the agency had received the letter and would respond directly to the committee.

She said Issa was seeking to rehash settled testimony based on “partial transcript excerpts,” and defended the website’s security controls.

Representatives from the HHS also pointed to a statement late December from Rep. Elijah Cummings (Md.), in which the Democrat accused Issa of peddling “partial and misleading information.” Jonathan Easley at The Hill reports.

Another delay: A handful of insurers are delaying the deadline for consumers to pay for plans purchased on ObamaCare's new exchanges, according to a report. The decision by Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) of Texas, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois and three other affiliates means that some people with new coverage won't have to pay their first premium until the end of the month. The BCBS plans delayed their first payment deadline from Friday to Jan. 31, Reuters reported, and WellPoint announced a new deadline of next Wednesday, giving consumers five additional days to pay. Elise Viebeck at The Hill reports.

Poll: A growing number of corporations are blaming ObamaCare as they pass further healthcare costs on to workers, according to a new survey of financial executives. 

Consulting firm Deloitte reported that 42 percent of chief financial officers who have shifted additional healthcare costs to workers cited the Affordable Care Act as their impetus. The number blaming the healthcare law rose to 63 percent for CFOs planning to shift costs in the next year. Elise Viebeck at The Hill reports.

State by State:

GOP governors edge closer to Medicaid expansion, The Daily Beast reports.

Medicaid battle begins in Maine legislature, according to Seacoast.

Wisconsin budget panel approves Walker-backed Medicaid change, at ABC News.

Reading List:

Republicans on repeat over ObamaCare, writes Dana Milbank at The Washington Post.

CMS creates new 'super office' for exchange, Medicare complaints [registration required], at Inside Health Policy.

CDC: Gonorrhea, syphilis regain traction in US, at Bloomberg.

What you may have missed at HealthWatch:

Paper apologizes for slanted ObamaCare testimonials.

HHS plans ObamaCare ad blitz for Sochi Olympics.