K4zw8el802c2lczjp9fi

Dylan Scott

Dylan Scott is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. He previously reported for Governing magazine in Washington, D.C., and the Las Vegas Sun. His work has been recognized with a 2013 American Society of Business Publication Editors award for Best Feature Series and a 2010 Associated Press Society of Ohio award for Best Investigative Reporting. He can be reached at dylan@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Dylan

The first question Wednesday that House Republicans asked Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius about HealthCare.gov's troubled rollout focused on President Obama's promise: "If you like your health plan, you can keep it."

House Energy and Commerce Chair Fred Upton (R-MI) pressed Sebelius on why the president had made that statement, given recent reports of individual policies being dropped prior to 2014, which is when the law's major market reforms take effect.

Read More →

With HealthCare.gov's problems piling up last week, a small coalition of Democratic senators formally urged the Obama administration to extend the deadline for enrolling in a health plan beyond March 31, 2014, which is when the enrollment period ends now. They said that, given the website's problems, an extension only makes sense. People should be given enough time to sign up for coverage.

The insurance industry is lobbying senators to give up that fight, saying that it would be bad actuarial policy. But there's another, more nakedly political element to the pitch: New higher rates for 2015 would become public right before the 2014 elections.

In other words, the message to lawmakers behind closed doors is: Be careful what you wish for.

Industry sources told TPM that those electoral considerations would be communicated to lawmakers in the coming weeks, though they declined to go on the record to talk about it.

Read More →

Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius will go before the House Energy and Commerce Committee Wednesday to testify on the problem-plagued rollout of the federal health insurance marketplace, HealthCare.gov.

She's likely in for a grilling. Democrats and Republicans alike are unhappy with the website's epically bad launch. The long wait times and other glitches have combined to create a colossal embarrassment for the Obama administration. President Barack Obama himself said that the problems were "unacceptable."

Unsurprisingly, Republicans have been naked opportunists in the last few weeks. After overshadowing the glitchy launch with their doomed mission to stop Obamacare, they've been transparently gleeful about its problems and Democrats have called them out on it time and again. There's also a dissonance between the GOP's supposed concern about the site's shortcomings and the fact that their recent political philosophy has been founded almost entirely on the existential danger in which Obamacare places America.

But the administration for its part has been remarkably diffident in providing information about the nature and scope of the problems, resistant to questions about who has been brought in to fix them, and unresponsive to such basic inquiries as what are the projected costs of the anticipated fixes.

So what are the legitimately tough questions the administration should have to answer? We surveyed several congressional aides and policy experts and came up with the seven most pressing questions Sebelius should address:

Read More →

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), the top Republican on the committee that oversees the Department of Health and Human Services, said Tuesday that President Obama should ask Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to resign over HealthCare.gov's troubled rollout.

Read More →

The health insurance industry is planning to warn members of Congress that extending Obamacare's open enrollment period, which a group of Democratic senators have begun to urge the White House to do, could have a disastrous effects on insurance premiums.

The proposal to extend the open enrollment period, which has been endorsed by 10 Democratic senators, is a reaction to the well-documented problems with HealthCare.gov in its opening month. With many people having trouble applying for insurance through the website, and the administration setting a Nov. 30 deadline for the site to be fully functional, the senators say people need more time to sign up for coverage. The enrollment period is scheduled to end March 31. The senators haven't asked for a specific new end date yet.

But expect to start hearing a significant amount of pushback from the industry, with a message focused on the fact that insurance premiums could skyrocket in 2015 if the enrollment period is extended.

Read More →

TPMLivewire