Larry Kocot, a Member of the Firm in the Health Care and Life Sciences practice, in the Washington, DC, office, was quoted in an article titled “Sebelius on the Hill: What Will We Learn?“
Following is an excerpt:
Now that Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has agreed to testify before a House committee on the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, questions remain about what lawmakers will learn and how her testimony may impact the law. ?…
Larry Kocot, visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution, says he wouldn’t be surprised if she testifies more than once on the Hill, but that the first hearing will focus on what Sebelius knew, and when she knew it.
“Obama says he is madder than anyone else about this, and if he is pointing to the website as an initial failure, he too seems to agree this wasn’t done right,” Kocot says. “If he is pointing to this, others will want to know as well.”
The testimony from Sebelius will likely result in yet another negative headline for the ACA, says Kocot, as empathy for consumers that are unable to purchase coverage on the site grows.
“There is a provision that says if you don’t have access to an affordable plan, or can’t access one, you will not be penalized,” Kocot says. “It’s certainly not a good headline, but it all depends on how Sebelius answers the questions.” ?…
Kocot says Sebelius’s job is safe, as forcing her resignation over the rollout won’t solve any issues related to the ACA.
“I think we will find out, depending on whether or not the committee is satisfied with the level of scrutiny [Sebelius faces] that she is not the only one involved in the management of these benefits and rollout,” he says. “In terms of the timeline, was the rollout given adequate time, and was this realistic from the beginning? There are a lot of moving pieces.”