Now that the health insurance exchanges have been operating for one week, Republican lawmakers are demanding the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services release the number of people who have enrolled in plans.
GOP members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, led by Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), also requested HHS provide enrollment data on a monthly basis until next March. They say the figures will help them monitor and evaluate the reform law's implementation progress.
"To date, the administration has only provided information about the number of visits to healthcare.gov, the number of web-chats and the number of calls to a toll-free number," the letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said. "No information has been released on the number of Americans that have actually enrolled."
Amid reports that some states didn't have any consumers enrolling on the first day exchanges opened, the GOP leaders questioned the reasons. They asked, "Are website failures preventing enrollment? Are consumers balking at the price of coverage, which was predicted to be significantly higher for many individuals?"
"It is time for the administration to provide regular updates on enrollment figures to ensure the American people have a real understanding just how implementation is proceeding," Upton said in a statement.
However, the Obama administration said it won't be releasing exchange enrollment figures until November. "We will release data on regular monthly intervals, just like what was done in Massachusetts and just like what was and is done with Medicare Part D," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said, according to The Hill's Healthwatch.