House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., fought back Friday against an accusation by the committee’s ranking Democrat, Henry Waxman, that Republicans are abusing their investigative power over the new healthcare law for political purposes.
Waxman claimed Thursday that Upton is going on a “fishing expedition,” Politico reports. Upton’s sin? Waxman says it’s making what he called “extensive requests” into the reform rules without objective grounds for investigations.
“We believe it is entirely appropriate to demand transparency from the administration that has promised it will be the most open and transparent in history,” Upton shot back in a letter to Waxman.
“If the HHS bureaucracy can handle monitoring every doctor and patient relationship in the United States, it can handle a simple request for documents from an American public hungering to finally know the details about the Administration's health care takeover.”
And he took Democrats on the committee’s Oversight subpanel to task for not conducting a hearing on the implementation Obamacare in the last Congress.
Upton also upbraided Waxman for providing an incorrect number of waivers that have been granted to organizations for a rule establishing coverage limits. Waxman said 222 organizations received waivers, but HHS says the total is now 729.
“Thus, HHS has apparently granted more than three times as many waivers as you cite in the letter,” Upton writes. “This fact alone underscores the dire need for oversight of the health care law, its effects, and its implementation by this Administration."
Meanwhile, Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform and a Newsmax contributor, says conservatives can take heart because the movement to repeal Obamacare is gathering steam.
“The courts are pointing out a lot of it doesn’t show up in the constitution anywhere,” he tells Newsmax.TV. “Overwhelmingly, the American people would like to get rid of it, polls show. Republicans in the House and 47 votes in the Senate said get rid of the whole thing.”
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