Several House committees have held hearings to grill HHS officials and their contractors on various problems consumers and insurers have encountered during the first month of the insurance portal’s operation. On October 24, the House Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing entitled on “PPACA (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) Implementation Failures: Didn’t Know or Didn’t Disclose?,” followed by an October 30 hearing on “PPACA Implementation Failures: Answers from HHS” featuring HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. In addition, on October 29, the House Ways and Means Committee held a hearing on the status of ACA implementation, at which CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner testified about steps the agency is taking to improve service.  On the Senate side, the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee has announced that CMS Administrator Tavenner is scheduled to testify at a November 5 Committee hearing on “The Online Federal Health Insurance Marketplace: Enrollment Challenges and the Path Forward.”  Likewise, a November 6 Senate Finance Committee hearing on “Health Insurance Exchanges: An Update from the Administration” will include testimony from Secretary Sebelius.

Separately, the House Small Business Committee held a hearing earlier this month on the potential effects of the ACA’s definition of 30 hours a week as full-time employment on employment at small businesses.