Obamacare Regulator Accused of Misleading Congress Will Resign

Thursday, 06 Mar 2014 04:28 PM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Gary Cohen, the top U.S. health insurance regulator accused by congressional Republicans of misleading them before the troubled start of the Obamacare insurance website, will resign.

Cohen will step down as director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight at the end of the month, when the first enrollment period for the health-care law concludes, Marilyn Tavenner, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and Cohen’s boss, said yesterday in an e-mail to employees.

Cohen and Tavenner said his departure is voluntary.

Rep. Michael Burgess, a Texas Republican, told the U.S. Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius during a hearing Oct. 30 that she should ask for Cohen’s resignation. He had “misled” Congress in testimony prior to the Oct. 1 opening of the federal health insurance exchange website, Burgess said, by insisting that any problems would be minor and the project was largely on schedule.

Sebelius refused, telling lawmakers to “hold me accountable” for healthcare.gov’s failures.

Cohen's agency devised the regulations for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s insurance exchanges, though it wasn’t responsible for building healthcare.gov, the federal exchange that failed in October, leaving millions of Americans unable to enroll in health plans. Cohen’s office also monitors insurers’ premiums and enforces consumer protections under the health law.

“Under his leadership, CCIIO established the rules which have made the promise of the Affordable Care Act a reality for millions of Americans who now can have the security of health coverage without regard to their previous health condition, and can know that their insurance will cover all the most common services they will need,” Tavenner said.

 

Cohen will be replaced on an interim basis by Mandy Cohen, a medical doctor who manages consumer assistance for the agency, Tavenner said. His departure was reported earlier by Politico.

Cohen was an attorney, an insurance executive and an insurance regulator in California before taking over the federal agency in August 2012. He said the difficult start for the Affordable Care Act isn’t the cause of his departure.

“It really doesn’t have anything to do with the rollout,” he told reporters today at an insurance industry conference in Washington. “I’ve been planning to get back home for a while and this just seemed like a good time to do it.”

Cohen maintained good relationships with health insurers even as President Obama and Sebelius occasionally used them as public scapegoats for problems in the health-care system. Karen Ignagni, the president and CEO of America’s Health Insurance Plans, the lobby group hosting the conference where Cohen spoke today, said he had “done a very good job” implementing the law’s insurance regulations.

“We really appreciate your leadership, we appreciate your thoughtfulness, and I suspect we’ll continue to work with you in some capacity,” she told him.

Cohen said he hasn’t begun looking for a new job in part because of federal conflict-of-interest rules that would make it difficult to interview for positions in the health-care industry while he still works for the government.

“I’m really focused on finishing this job,” he said. “I haven’t actually thought much about the next job.”


© Copyright 2014 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Rep. Stockman to Newsmax: Arm Kurds, Don't Train Syrian Rebels

Friday, 19 Sep 2014 21:36 PM

Instead of spending any of the $500 million Congress approved this week to train Syrian rebels to fight the Islamic Stat . . .

Ted Cruz: A Nuclear Iran Remains 'Most Significant Threat'

Friday, 19 Sep 2014 20:42 PM

Iran's nuclear ambitions are a bigger threat to America than the Islamic State (ISIS) militants, Sen. Ted Cruz says.

Part of White House Evacuated; Obama not Present

Friday, 19 Sep 2014 20:15 PM

White House staff and reporters were evacuated on Friday night by the Secret Service because an intruder was spotted run . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved