Burgess, Barton Demand Obamacare Oversight Hearing

House Republicans are again demanding Democrats hold oversight hearings on the implementation of Obamacare. 

They also want clarification of recent remarks made by Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius that HHS seeks to “reeducate” Americans.
Congressman Joe Barton (R-Texas), ranking Republican of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas), ranking Republican on the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, are holding committee Chairman Henry Waxman’s (D-Calif.) feet to the fire demanding transparency on the bill’s implementation.

“It has now been six months since the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), and this Committee has yet to hear from Secretary Sebelius on her efforts to administer the law.  Secretary Sebelius is the head of the department now responsible for overseeing a dramatic change to one-fifth of the American economy, and Members of Congress should have the opportunity to discuss the PPACA with her,” the lawmakers wrote.

Waxman did not respond to the first oversight hearing request for testimony from Sebelius. 

“In the months leading up to the passage of the PPACA, the Subcommittee on Health and the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations held a number of hearings in order to build support for the passage of a new health care law.  Since its passage, however, these committees have not held one hearing specifically on the PPACA.  As the Ranking Members of the Full Committee and the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, we believe this is unacceptable,” Barton and Burgess noted.

The first oversight hearing request was made July 30, 2010. 

“Since we sent that letter, Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said during an interview with ABC News Radio on August 30, 2010, ‘[T]here is still a great deal of confusion about what is in [the health care law] and what isn’t.’  The Secretary concluded that the administration had ‘a lot of reeducation to do.’”

“Inviting Secretary Sebelius to testify before this Committee, so that we may understand her ‘reeducation’ of the American public, would be a good start to a public conversation about the new health care law,” Burgess and Barton said.

The letter can be found online here.