The Obama administration announced a new policy on Wednesday that will allow many people to renew their existing insurance policies for two more years
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"For What Possible Use Should You Keep Such A Treacherous And Savage Creature?" Marcus Tullius Cicero
Thank You Wash Times and Zip.WASHINGTON — President Obama’s top health officials said Tuesday they expect Congress to front the money needed to fund Obamacare’s federal marketplace in fiscal 2015 as they work to make HealthCare.gov operate better this fall.The Health and Human Services Department said it needs a projected $1.8 billion to maintain the federally run exchange it operates on behalf of about three dozen states. The exchange is a web portal where consumers without health coverage can compare and purchase plans, often with the help of government subsidies.About $1.2 billion of the funding will come from fees tied to Obamacare, while $600 million will be sought from Congress, officials said in HHS-specific comments about Mr. Obama’s new budget proposal.“If Congress funds the president’s budget … this would fully fund the ongoing implementation of the Affordable Care Act,” HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said.The agency also vowed to improve HealthCare.gov before the second round of open enrollment begins on Nov. 15, after software glitches and capacity issues ruined its Oct. 1 debut last year and nearly derailed the overhaul in its first year of implementation.
At a short but contentious congressional hearing on Wednesday, former IRS official Lois Lerner repeatedly invoked her 5th Amendment right not to testify about the IRS targeting of tea party groups. This was the second time Lerner has declined to answer questions put to her by the House oversight committee.Asked if was considering a contempt citation against Lerner, Committee Chair Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said, “that’s certainly something that has to be considered.” He said he hoped to get answers from Lerner, and the committee will continue to seek answers in other places.
Keep reading…Emails obtained by the Washington Examiner through a Freedom of Information Act request raise new questions about how much the White House knew about Health and Human Services SecretaryKathleen Sebelius’ fundraising for Obamacare and whether she solicited donations from entities she regulates.White House officials have said they did not sign off on calls made by Sebelius to solicit donations from private entities for Enroll America, an outside nonprofit with close White House ties that promotes enrollment in the health law’s insurance exchanges. Officials say they were only generally aware Sebelius would be seeking support from outside groups.In late January, HHS’s Freedom of Information Act office released 257 pages of emails in response to a June request from the Washington Examiner.The documents are heavily redacted with 12 pages withheld in their entirety and another 179 pages of “responsive records” still “under review for consultation” before a decision is made on their release.The emails show that White House Office of Public Engagement staffers participated in weekly conference calls with HHS and Enroll America. The emails also show that the agenda of these phone meetings included Sebelius’ calls to outside entities, high-level operational planning and more focused outreach with private partners through senior White House aides.