The big story in Washington today is expected to be the appearance of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius before the House Energy & Commerce Committee.
As NPR’s Julie Rovner writes on the Shots blog, Sebelius follows Tuesday’s testimony from Marilyn Tavenner — administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
Tavenner first apologized for the botched rollout of the Healthcare.gov website, and then spent several hours being peppered with questions from Ways and Means Committee Republicans. Many of the queries were about cancellation notices being received by people who buy their own insurance.
Julie writes that:
“Many members of the committee, including [Rep. Peter] Roskam, R-Ill., read letters from constituents who say they’ll have to pay more for new coverage. ‘Can you understand the level of frustration and concern about what many Americans perceive to be a false claim from the administration?’ he asked.
“Tavenner said it’s not that simple, and it’s not all bad. Many people who say they like their current plans don’t realize how little they cover.
” ‘Sometimes they were in plans that they thought were fine until they actually needed hospitalization,’ she said. ‘Then they found out it didn’t cover hospitalization, or it didn’t cover cancer.’ “
There have been calls from some Republicans for Sebelius to step down or be fired because of the problems with HealthCare.gov.
The Shots blog will continue to follow the story closely. Wednesday’s hearing at which Sebelius will appear is set to begin at 9 a.m. ET. The committee plans to webcast the hearing it here. We’ll embed its player below if you wish to watch here instead.