Tavenner Grilled on Healthcare Reform Status

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media , August 5, 2013

Rep. Diane DeGette (D-CO) challenged her colleagues from both sides of the aisle "to work on educating constituents on how to make this new law work, for individuals, families, and businesses." She compared healthcare reform to the passage of Medicare Part D. "Democrats didn't like it. But we all went out to our districts and we worked with our constituents to let them know how they could enroll. Why? Because this would help our constituents. Now Medicare Part D has become very, very popular."

For her part, Tavenner managed to stay somewhat above the fray as she addressed the concerns of House Republicans.

Here are the hearing highlights:

Tavenner pushed back against suggestions that a delay in the employer mandate signaled that the entire program was off-track. She clicked off a number of upcoming deadlines that will be met, including the selection of so called "navigators" to help consumers enroll in the health exchanges, successful end-to-end testing of the exchange enrollment system, and the opening of the health insurance exchanges themselves on Oct. 1.

Tavenner added that end-to-end testing will include all the agencies necessary to confirm applicant information, including the IRS and the Social Security Administration, and that vulnerabilities will be corrected as they are identified.

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