Senator to block HHS nominations over 'systematic failures' of ACA CO-OP program

Karen DeSalvo is waiting in the wings to fully step into the role of assistant secretary for health at the Department of Health and Human Services, but one lawmaker may cause her wait to be even longer.

On Monday, Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) said he intends to block confirmation of all HHS nominees. Sasse said in an announcement he will go through with his plan until the Obama administration "gives a complete and transparent accounting of the systematic failures of the Affordable Care Act's CO-OP program."

"Hundreds of thousands of enrollees lost their plans when co-ops in nine states collapsed and these victims deserve clear and honest answers from the bureaucrats who oversaw the mess," he said.

President Barack Obama in May announced his intent to nominate DeSalvo for the HHS role. Currently, DeSalvo is serving both as head of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT and as acting assistant secretary for health. Announcement