Feds blow off House subpoena for Obamacare co-op documents

It’s impeachment time!  In fact, it’s been impeachment time for quite a while, as federal officials stonewall legitimate subpoenas from congressional committees exercising their oversight responsibilities.  And here is a case tailor-made for the GOP establishment to start showing its base and the American public that it is not just a group of junior partners in the D.C. establishment.  Kathryn Watson reports for the Daily Caller News Foundation:

Federal health officials refuse to give Congress hundreds of subpoenaed documents on Obamacare’s failed co-ops so that people will continue enrolling in the deeply troubled program, a congressional leader said Tuesday.

Twelve of the 23 co-ops created in 2011 under Obamacare at a cost of $2.4 billion have failed, and another eight of the remaining 11 are likely to go under this year. But the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) won’t hand over documents subpoenaed months ago by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Let me restate this: federal officials in HHS are trying to defraud consumers by luring them into financially risky insurance schemes, where there is a genuine possibility that they will not receive the services for which they will pay.  We know this because it has already happened:

The co-ops have already cost taxpayers billions, leaving many enrollees “scrambling” to find new health insurance, he added. More than 800,000 customers have lost coverage through the failures nationwide, and many more are expected to lose coverage in 2016.

Federal health officials are also denying medical reimbursements to doctors and hospitals that have served patients insured by failed co-ops, a DCNF investigation found.

Actively concealing information, much less subpoenaed information, would risk criminal fraud charges if done by a private-sector firm.

Congress has the power to impeach the head of HHS.  The violation of a lawful subpoena surely amounts to a high crime or misdemeanor.  And arguing for impeachment on the ground of protecting consumers from being defrauded is a very winnable public relations strategy.  I’d like to see the argument that HHS has a valid reason for concealing the information. 

The committee chairman, Jason Chaffetz, has so far not done anything with teeth on this or other Obama administration defiance of Congress.  Instead, he and his Republican colleagues have stood by as officials mock them and their responsibilities.

The Obamacare co-ops are a friggin’ disaster, one that the media have buried from widespread attention.  Billions have been squandered and consumers badly served.

Man up!  And woman up!

This is winnable.  But you have to try.  Let the impeachment proceedings begin.  There is a good reason why the base is alienated.  The GOPe could start repairing that.  I am not holding my breath.

It’s impeachment time!  In fact, it’s been impeachment time for quite a while, as federal officials stonewall legitimate subpoenas from congressional committees exercising their oversight responsibilities.  And here is a case tailor-made for the GOP establishment to start showing its base and the American public that it is not just a group of junior partners in the D.C. establishment.  Kathryn Watson reports for the Daily Caller News Foundation:

Federal health officials refuse to give Congress hundreds of subpoenaed documents on Obamacare’s failed co-ops so that people will continue enrolling in the deeply troubled program, a congressional leader said Tuesday.

Twelve of the 23 co-ops created in 2011 under Obamacare at a cost of $2.4 billion have failed, and another eight of the remaining 11 are likely to go under this year. But the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) won’t hand over documents subpoenaed months ago by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Let me restate this: federal officials in HHS are trying to defraud consumers by luring them into financially risky insurance schemes, where there is a genuine possibility that they will not receive the services for which they will pay.  We know this because it has already happened:

The co-ops have already cost taxpayers billions, leaving many enrollees “scrambling” to find new health insurance, he added. More than 800,000 customers have lost coverage through the failures nationwide, and many more are expected to lose coverage in 2016.

Federal health officials are also denying medical reimbursements to doctors and hospitals that have served patients insured by failed co-ops, a DCNF investigation found.

Actively concealing information, much less subpoenaed information, would risk criminal fraud charges if done by a private-sector firm.

Congress has the power to impeach the head of HHS.  The violation of a lawful subpoena surely amounts to a high crime or misdemeanor.  And arguing for impeachment on the ground of protecting consumers from being defrauded is a very winnable public relations strategy.  I’d like to see the argument that HHS has a valid reason for concealing the information. 

The committee chairman, Jason Chaffetz, has so far not done anything with teeth on this or other Obama administration defiance of Congress.  Instead, he and his Republican colleagues have stood by as officials mock them and their responsibilities.

The Obamacare co-ops are a friggin’ disaster, one that the media have buried from widespread attention.  Billions have been squandered and consumers badly served.

Man up!  And woman up!

This is winnable.  But you have to try.  Let the impeachment proceedings begin.  There is a good reason why the base is alienated.  The GOPe could start repairing that.  I am not holding my breath.