Alexander To Introduce Bill Requiring Weekly Reports On Obamacare Exchanges

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Senator Lamar Alexander, (R-Tn.), the senior Republican on the Senate health committee, on Tuesday announced on a Knoxville radio show that he will introduce a bill requiring the administration to provide weekly reports to Congress and to states with data about Obamacare enrollment, efforts to resolve the site’s technological problems, and information about organizations contracted as navigators.

Senator Alexander said of his legislation: “As millions of Americans have sat frustrated at their computers and on their phones, wasting hours trying to fulfill the Obamacare mandate and enroll in the exchanges, the administration has refused to provide critical information about what’s going wrong, or has dribbled out news through anonymous statements to reporters. This bill will require the administration to be honest and transparent with the public, governors overseeing state exchanges, state consumer protection regulators, and decisionmakers in Congress. No more hiding the damage of the train wreck—Americans are on this train.”

The bill would require the Obama administration to provide weekly reports to Congress, states, and the public about the 36 federally run exchanges, including easily tracked data such as the number of individuals who have visited the site and the number who have successfully enrolled, their zip code, and the level of coverage they’ve obtained. The reports would also be required to contain information on the department’s efforts to resolve the site’s widespread technical problems.

Recent analysis by an outside firm found that traffic to the website fell 88 percent between Oct.1 and Oct. 13, as users were scared off by problems with the site, the Washington Post reported. Less than half of one percent of Americans who tried to use the site in the first week were able to successfully enroll, according to the Post.

Yet, as technological problems with the site prevent Americans from being able to satisfy the Obamacare individual mandate and purchase insurance, the administration has provided little to no information about the cause of the site’s problems and its efforts to resolve them, and has provided no information about who has successfully enrolled.

Senator Alexander called on the Obama administration to improve the way it provides information to Americans about Obamacare, saying, “This law is about as clear as mud, and instead of helping Americans understand their new obligations, the Obama administration has been burying important changes—not announcing them boldly as you’d expect an administration that’s proud of its new health care law to do. Americans deserve better from the officials who are so committed to implementing this train wreck of a law.”

He noted the requirement that Americans sign up for health insurance by mid-February to avoid the tax penalty was confirmed by an anonymous administration official to an AP reporter on Oct. 9 and the revelation that problems with the federal exchange website were also due to a design failure that needed to be fixed was made to a Wall Street Journal reporter on Sunday, after the administration repeatedly told Americans that the problems were due to volume.

Senator Alexander announced his legislation on the Knoxville area’s Hallerin Hilton Hill Morning Show.

CHI Memorial Recognized as 2015 Best Of The Best Winner

CHI Memorial was recognized once again as a Best of the Best winner.  For 2015, CHI Memorial was voted Best Hospital and was a finalist for Best Emergency Room.  Dr. Tony Friddell with  CHI Memorial Pediatric Care Associates was a finalist for Best Pediatrician.   “We are extremely proud of everyone who works for CHI Memorial,” saysid Rick Napper, ... (click for more)

CHI Memorial To Host Free Seminars On Surgical Weight Loss Options

Jack F. Rutledge, M.D. and CHI Memorial Metabolic and Bariatric Care will host two free seminars in October on surgical weight loss options. The first seminar will be held at CHI Memorial Hospital in the community room  Tuesday, Oc. 6 at 6 p.m.  The second seminar will be at the North River Civic Center on Tuesday, Oct. 20 at 6 p.m.   Obesity can be devastating ... (click for more)

Baylor Student, 16, Dies After Cardiac Incident At Pool

A 16-year-old Baylor School student died after a cardiac incident at a pool on Monday afternoon. Sumner Smith died in the incident on campus. The student was taken by ambulance to Erlanger. Baylor's Barbara Kennedy said it happened during a routine swim practice. He was found unresponsive in the pool. Counselors were being provided on the Baylor campus on Tuesday. ... (click for more)

Bradley County Commission Decides Not To Provide Animal Pickup Service

Bradley County Commissioners on Monday finally put animal control to rest. It was not easy and it was not without confusion, but in the end, the county will not provide animal pickup service.   Confusion began when commissioners were asked to approve the agenda, which included two options for animal control pick up. Item “D” provided for the SPCA of Bradley County ... (click for more)

VW PILOT Crash Landing

The Volkswagen emission scandal proves the point citizen activist, Ms. Helen Burns Sharp, has repeatedly brought to the attention of local government officials. She urged them to "beef up" the PILOT contracts before approving PILOT tax abatements. Any logical person would agree, because it is the only way to recoup a tax loss when unthinkable situations arise. Volkswagen's willful ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Readers Are Right

Jeffrey Cross is a community activist in the very finest way. He has no idea that I and many others have followed what he has done, and tirelessly I might add, to enhance the St. Elmo neighborhood at the foot of Lookout Mountain. I wish this world had a million Jeffrey Crosses. So when he wrote in protest of my Monday story, “We Want Our City Back,” I was more than eager to read ... (click for more)