HHS Secretary Sebelius to discuss exchange problems before House panel

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee next week, despite previously turning down a request to appear.

The hearing will address the failures and issues surrounding the federal health insurance exchanges as well as when HHS knew the rollout was beset with problems.

"We are now entering week four of the botched healthcare rollout, and with hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars spent for a system that still does not work, Congress and the American people deserve answers," said Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.), according to USA Today.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said that by declining to testify during the hearing, Sebelius was "seeking to avoid accountability and stonewall the public," reported The Hill's Healthwatch.

But HHS spokeswoman Joanne Peters said Sebelius had always planned to appear before the House committee, but she had "a scheduling conflict," Bloomberg reported.

Some GOP members have called for Sebelius to resign as HHS chief, blaming her for the technical problems related to the federal online marketplace. But President Bararck Obama has supported Sebelius and offered his "full confidence" in her.

To learn more:
- read the USA Today article
- see the Bloomberg article
- check out The Hill's Healthwatch article