In a congressional committee hearing on Thursday, Kevin Counihan, the CEO of Healthcare.gov, was repeatedly grilled by members of Congress for details on enrollments, tax data and coverage for immigrants, but failed to provide answers to many questions asked.
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) asked Counihan for data on those re-enrolling in the federal health care exchange, but Counihan said he could not provide information since it was not yet accurate, verified and validated.
Meadows said he knows this information was provided to healthcare providers across the country on December 18, which Counihan would neither confirm nor deny. Meadows accused Counihan of potentially lying to him.
Mr. Counihan, either the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services intentionally gave misleading information to insurance companies across the country or you lied to me and said you didnt have it, Meadows said. Meadows added that he has requested the data through 23 e-mails, seven phone calls, one personal meeting, countless other indirect contact that weve had, [and] two text messages.
Counihan also failed to directly answer other questions regarding tax data and if illegal immigrants were provided coverage. Rep. Buddy Carter (R-Ga.) said that for someone who knew for weeks they could be coming to the days hearing, Carter heard a lot of I dont know from Counihan.
That led Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) to warn Counihan that if he was CEO of a public corporation, subject to the SarbanesOxley Act, many of the answers you have given could get you thrown in jail. After a few seconds of silence, Counihan said he was unaware of the SarbanesOxley Act.
By failing to answer the questions posed to him, Rep. Don Cartwright (D-Penn.) said Counihan was damaging the debate around the ACA.
I encourage you, Mr. Counihan, to be really careful because as we continue to debate the merits of the ACA, he said. The more you make mistakes about numbers, the more you make mistakes about tax forms, the more you damage the debate about the merits of the ACA. I encourage you to hurry up and get the accurate numbers to this committee.
CMS did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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