Issa claims victory with ObamaCare official's departure

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) is celebrating the departure of an ObamaCare official who has been under scrutiny for inflated enrollment figures discovered by his committee.

Marilynn Tavenner, the administrator for the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) announced her departure Friday after five years.

“Tavenner had to go,” Issa wrote in a statement provided first to The Hill.

“She presided over HHS as it deceptively padded the Obamacare enrollment numbers. It was a deplorable example of an agency trying to scam the American people. They weren’t successful this time because of Congressional oversight. We deserve better.”

Issa served as chairman of the House Oversight Committee when its staff discovered that the administration had erroneously counted dental plans in its tally of healthcare plans, which Tavenner said later should not have been counted.

That miscount helped push the enrollment total past 7 million, a milestone that was celebrated by the administration at the time.

Republicans on the House Oversight Committee grilled Tavenner about the miscount last month at a hearing that also featured the embattled former ObamaCare adviser Jonathan Gruber.

The CMS chief's departure on Friday has split the GOP on her legacy.

Rep. Charles BoustanyCharles William BoustanyMarch tariff increase would cost 934K jobs, advocacy group says Bottom Line On The Money: US adds 155k jobs in November | Unemployment holds at 3.7 percent | Wage growth strengthening | Trump signs stopgap spending bill delaying shutdown MORE (R-La.) was quick to criticize Tavenner for her role in ObamaCare, blaming her for the “disastrous implementation” of the law.

“I hope the Obama Administration’s chosen replacement for Ms. Tavenner is a more competent and less combative partner that we can work with to help the American people,” he wrote in a statement.

But that stance stands in contrast with the far more positive review she received from Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchTrump to award racing legend Roger Penske with Presidential Medal of Freedom Trump awards Presidential Medal of Freedom to economist, former Reagan adviser Arthur Laffer Second ex-Senate staffer charged in aiding doxxing of GOP senators MORE (R-Utah), who praised her as a "straight-shooter."

“Marilyn has done a great job in a very difficult position under near impossible circumstances,” Hatch, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, wrote in a statement just minutes after the announcement.

Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyGrassley raises concerns about objectivity of report critical of GOP tax law's effects Overnight Health Care: Key Trump drug pricing proposal takes step forward | Missouri Planned Parenthood clinic loses bid for license | 2020 Democrats to take part in Saturday forum on abortion rights Key Trump proposal to lower drug prices takes step forward MORE (R-Iowa), the former chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, also credited the departing leader for a “willingness to engage in open and often productive conversation.”

CMS administrator is a tough job under regular circumstances, and hers was especially hard in implementing a misguided new healthcare law. I wish her well.”