Skip to comments.Issa Charges Sebelius with Criminal Obstruction of HealthCare.gov Investigation
Posted on 12/12/2013 2:07:58 AM PST by markomalley
The lead congressman investigating HealthCare.govs dismal performance during its first two months online ratcheted up the executive-congressional conflict on Wednesday, accusing Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius of criminal obstruction of his investigation.
The dispute centers around a letter the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services sent to a contractor that worked on the online health insurance marketplace, directing it not to turn over correspondence and other documents to congressional investigators and stating CMS would manage any congressional inquiries.
That letter amounted to criminal obstruction of a congressional investigation, according to House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif.
Obstructing a congressional investigation is a crime, Issa said in a statement. The federal obstruction laws reflect the fact that Congress right of access to information is constitutionally based and critical to the integrity and effectiveness of our oversight and investigative activities.
HHS Spokeswoman Joanne Peters responded that the department is attempting to comply with Issas investigation while ensuring it doesnt reveal any private consumer information or technology secrets.
We have worked to accommodate the committee's oversight interests in a number of ways, including by allowing the committee to review unredacted copies of the requested documents in person, she said in a statement. The committee already has copies of the requested documents that have been redacted to protect sensitive security information.
The department plans to respond directly to Issa later, Peters said.
Issa issued a subpoena in October to compel Sebelius to turn over documents related to HealthCare.govs troubled launch.
His charges come on the same day Sebelius asked her departments inspector general to launch his own investigation into HealthCare.govs failures. She also asked CMS, which led the Obamacare implementation, to appoint a chief risk officer to investigate why risks werent identified during the building of HealthCare.gov and how the agency can avoid such failures in the future.
Issas committee has uncovered evidence of significant doubts among contractors that HealthCare.gov would be successful upon launch. He has also charged government officials with forcing last minute changes to the site for political reasons that may have contributed to its troubles after launch.
The oversight committees Democratic leaders did not immediately respond to a request for comment about Issas charges.
HealthCare.gov has been operating generally well since Nov. 30 following a tech surge by the government and contractors that included 400 bug fixes, increased server capacity and a new management structure.
About 137,000 people enrolled in new health insurance plans through the marketplace during its first two months online. An additional 227,000 people enrolled through state-run online marketplaces.
The government hopes to enroll 7 million people in new insurance plans by the end of March. Some experts worry the slow start to enrollment may deter young and healthy people from enrolling in plans through the site, leading to unsustainably high premiums for people who do purchase the plans.
And, of course, we must point out that "enrolled" here means that they have something in their shopping carts, not that they've paid.
Does anybody have a source for how many have actually "paid" to date?
Privacy and tech secrets... the same excuses the activists use in family courts to hide the social programing shenanigans of children from the public and juries.
They will release those numbers in 2019.
Democrat obstructs investigation... Nothing to see here, folks, move on...
Big deal. Congress has been effectively neutered.
As I understand it... ZERO.
Issa’s committee....that’s where issues are sent to die.
Issa didn’t “CHARGE” anyone. He spoke meaningless words for the sake of showmanship. When someone is CHARGED, they have to answer the charges in court. Not happening anytime soon.
I’m sure this will be handed over to DoJ for prosecution, just like Holder’s contempt charge.
Of Course. Issa makes one of these challenges once in a while just to get his name mentioned, then he goes back to sleep.
None of his investigations amount to anything.
Theater or Rules For Radicals. If one anticipates an investigation —what better way to distract than to obstruct?
I quite agree with Mr.Issa —as I suspect my brother does as well.
What can Issa do alone? Unless I'm missing something, he doesn't even have the backing of the GOP leadership. The DOJ (and the whole Administration) is utterly corrupt and political. At least Issa seems to be keeping some of these things in the news a bit (in spite of an unsympathetic media). Should he try to raise a private army? AFAIK, that kind of thing hasn't been done for the past several hundred years . . . and wouldn't stand a chance.
Charges, exposure!! Egads!!! The Democrats must be shaking in their boots! When I see a perp walk, then I’ll be impressed. Hearings are a joke, they prove how effective the Left is...they can do it and get away with it. A hearing is one more opportunity for them to laugh at our political, conservative impotence. Stop the hearings, start the arrests!
Equally a criminal enterprise as Kabuki theater.
This entire administration has engaged in a planned and systematic dismantling of the US Constitution, illegally extended executive authority to circumvent the Congress, run roughshod over the rights and freedoms of the American people, all while appeasing the evil that is islam, around the world.
The whole lot of them should rot in jail for the rest of their natural lives.
The vassals in Congress
are now simply ignored by the Tyrant.
Did you catch that? ZeoCare, with its IRS enforcement arm, is implicitly forcing sign-ups into adjustable rate premiums, dependent on how many young-and-healthy they can snare "from under their bridges".
So right, so right.
P.S. Re your tagline - you’re a doctor, find out!
Holder needs a criminal obstruction charge. BADLY.
as far as anyone knows the back end payment system is not build/functional yet so no one has paid yet