April 08,2014

Press Contact:

Aaron Fobes/Julia Lawless (202) 224-4515

Hatch, Grassley Seek Detail on HHS' Role in State Health Care Exchange Problems

WASHINGTON – Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah and Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa are seeking details of the federal government’s role in overseeing and offering help to troubled state health care exchanges.

“While HHS's decision to extend the open enrollment period allows states extra time to fix technical glitches, it is unlikely that all of the problems in the exchanges can be fixed easily or quickly,” Grassley and Hatch said.  “It also raises questions about the sustainability of the exchange model, and whether citizens will experience the same difficulties in October 2014 when the open enrollment period begins again.  Even if the exchanges are fixed, it is unknown how much money has been poured into building -- and fixing -- these systems. Spending hundreds of millions of dollars on exchanges that are riddled with problems a full six months after launch is an irresponsible use of taxpayer money.”

Grassley and Hatch wrote to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius with a series of questions about the federal role with state health care exchanges.  The text of their letter is available here.

The Senate Finance Committee has jurisdiction over much of the new federal health care law. Hatch is the current Ranking Member and Grassley is a senior member and former Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee.