Congress

New bill would demand detailed HealthCare.gov data

Rep. Lee Terry, R-Neb.

Rep. Lee Terry, R-Neb., wants detailed data on HealthCare.gov site traffic, successful enrollments and other data.

Nebraska Republican Rep. Lee Terry, a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, is pushing a proposal that would require the government to disclose detailed traffic statistics for visitors to HealthCare.gov.

The measure would put the onus on the government to release information on unique visits to the site, the number of chat sessions initiated with online navigators who help visitors use it, the number of users who actually enrolls in a private health plan or Medicaid, and the level of coverage selected.

Additionally, Terry's bill looks to put a price tag on the cost of the "tech surge" being conducted to fix the site, precise information on the problems being fixed, and the names of federal officials managing the process. The bill breaks down problem areas including logging in to the site, enrolling in an insurance plan, calculating premium support subsidies, the various identity and income verification steps, and privacy protection. The disclosures would be made to Congress, state insurance commissioners and to the public.

"The administration has already demonstrated that they're not going to volunteer any information that could further embarrass the president," Terry wrote in a Nov. 20 op-ed for Investor's Business Daily.

The administration is offering reporters updates on tech surge developments in regular conference calls with a spokesperson for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. These calls have in the past included project leader Jeff Zients. So far, CMS has reported working through more than 200 individual fixes on a "punch list" of problems, most recently improving the way HealthCare.gov reports enrollment information to insurance carriers. The administration has pledged to get the site working smoothly for the "vast majority" of users by the end of November.

About the Author

Adam Mazmanian is executive editor of FCW.

Before joining the editing team, Mazmanian was an FCW staff writer covering Congress, government-wide technology policy, health IT and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Prior to joining FCW, Mr. Mazmanian was technology correspondent for National Journal and served in a variety of editorial roles at B2B news service SmartBrief. Mazmanian started his career as an arts reporter and critic, and has contributed reviews and articles to the Washington Post, the Washington City Paper, Newsday, Architect magazine, and other publications. He was an editorial assistant and staff writer at the now-defunct New York Press and arts editor at the About.com online network in the 1990s, and was a weekly contributor of music and film reviews to the Washington Times from 2007 to 2014.

Click here for previous articles by Mazmanian. Connect with him on Twitter at @thisismaz.


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