7 Planned Actions Against Healthcare Reform Upon GOP Takeover of Key House Committee

Rep. Joe Barton of Texas, in line to become chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee in the expected Republican takeover of the House, plans seven areas of investigation of the Obama administration involving the healthcare reform law, according to a release from his office.

Here are the seven planned areas of investigation:

1. Why the CMS chief actuary said the law would not rein in rising costs.
2. Why the chief actuary projected costs of reform bill only after passage by the House.
3. Why companies assert losing support for retiree prescription drug plans under the law would increase their costs.
4. Why HHS touted "improvements to Medicare Advantage" to beneficiaries, even though it will be cut by 50 percent under the law.
5. Why HHS stopped insurers from raising the possibility of rate increases under Obamacare.
6. Why CMS Administrator Don Berwick, MD, has refused to meet with the committee since he was appointed.
7. Why HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has been unavailable to meet with the committee since the law passed.

If Mr. Barton becomes chairman, he would have subpoena power to require administration officials to come before the committee. "Our first job will be to find out what's gone wrong," he stated. "That's why the return of vigorous congressional oversight is going to be a top priority for me and the committee next year."

Rep. Barton also joined Rep. Michael Burgess of Texas, in line to chair the House Energy Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, in writing a letter to committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), asking why GOP requests to summon Ms. Sebelius to the committee had been ignored. The letter said the two committees have not held one hearing on the law since it was passed.

Read the release from Rep. Joe Barton on the healthcare reform law.

Read more coverage of the healthcare reform law.

- Reform Law is Key Reason Why GOP Expected to Win Most House Swing Districts

- Former HHS Secretary’s Leavitt Partners: 73% Chance GOP Will Change Individual Mandate

- GOP Senators Vow to Continually Introduce Bills to Repeal Reform

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