FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 6, 2013
AG STRANGE JOINS 9 OTHER STATES IN LETTER SEEKING IMMEDIATE LEGISLATIVE ACTION TO FIX AFFORDABLE CARE ACT PROBLEMS
(MONTOGOMERY)--Attorney General Luther Strange and the Attorneys General of nine other states today sent a letter to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius asking her and the Obama administration to support immediate legislative action to mitigate systemic implementation problems within the Affordable Care Act.
The five-page letter highlights three areas of concern the Attorneys General have with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act: the many statutory and regulatory delays, the significant technological difficulties, and the security of consumers’ private information.
“Attorneys General work day in and day out to protect consumers, and so far, the implementation of Obamacare has been a disaster for people all across the country,” Attorney General Strange said. “I hope the Obama administration and members of Congress will work together on legislation to fix the mounting problems with the law that the failed rollout has highlighted.”
In the letter, the Attorneys General highlight a number of statutory provisions that have been delayed thus far, including the cap on consumers’ out-of-pocket expenses, the small business health insurance exchange, and the mandate requiring large employers to provide health insurance. After it was clear people could not sign up for health insurance on the government’s own website, the administration unilaterally decided to postpone the deadline when uninsured citizens had to have insurance or face a penalty on their taxes.
The letter also highlights the immense technical difficulties the system has experienced since opening on October 1. The website where people are supposed to enroll is extremely difficult to use and has resulted in consumers encountering numerous “glitches” when they try to create an account, find information on policies and pricing, and update their information. Insurers also are reporting problems, such as duplicate enrollments, spouses reported as children, and missing data fields.
The Attorneys Generals’ biggest concern, however, still centers on the privacy and security of consumer information. The letter highlights a number of cybersecurity red flags experts have identified, including the website’s inability to block third-party access to cookies containing personal information.
“We have many serious concerns about the implementation of the ACA so far. We hope Congress and the Administration will take immediate steps to mitigate these problems,” Attorney General Strange said.
In addition to Alabama, the letter was signed by the Attorneys General of West Virginia, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and Utah.