Two Republican senators have sent a letter to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services questioning the long-term viability of state-run health care exchanges.
Noting that many state exchanges are still experiencing major technological glitches Sens. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Orrin Hatch of Utah question if citizens will continue to experience problems when open enrollment reopens in October 2014.
The senators write in the letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius that not only do the glitches delay the enrollment process; they also represent a considerable cost to taxpayers. For example, Oregon has received $304 million in HHS grants, but a consumer cannot enroll on a plan online.
Even if the exchanges are fixed, it is unknown how much money has been poured into building and fixing these systems, the letter says. Spending hundreds of millions of dollars on exchanges that are riddled with problems a full six months later after launch is an irresponsible use of taxpayer money.
The letter, dated Monday, seeks answers from HHS on 10 questions, including how much HHS has spent on the marketplaces and oversight of this money.
At a hearing on Capitol Hill on April 3, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said one of the major flaws of the Affordable Care Act was that instead of building a single website, HHS issued grants for many websites to be built that have redundant functionalities.
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