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House bill would require weekly healthcare enrollment reports

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By Jerry Geisel, Crain News Service

WASHINGTON (Jan. 14, 2014) — The Obama administration said it strongly opposes legislation that would require weekly public disclosure of enrollment figures in public health insurance exchanges.

“To implement this new reporting system, contracts may need to be modified and new staff would need to be hired on an expedited basis, adding millions of dollars in costs to states and the federal government, without additional funding from the Congress, for information that is already largely being provided on a monthly basis, consistent with other publicly funded healthcare programs,” the administration said Jan. 9 in a statement.

But Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-La., who sponsored the legislation, H.R. 3362, said at the time he introduced the measure, “If we have to pay for this program, we need transparency.”

In the most recent report, released Dec. 11, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said nearly 365,000 individuals had enrolled in plans offered through the exchanges by the end of November.

The next report is expected to be released sometime this week. The report covers enrollment in the 14 states and the District of Columbia that offer exchanges and in the 36 states in which the federal government operates the exchanges because those states declined to do so, or in states in which HHS operates the exchanges in partnerships with those states.

This report appeared in Crain’s Business Insurance magazine, a Chicago-based sister publication of Tire Business.

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