Two House Republicans charged Friday that a top Obamacare official told staff to delete an email on how to handle calls regarding the botched rollout of the healthcare law last fall.
House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy accused Marilyn Tavenner, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, of directing staffers to delete the Oct. 5 email.
Upton, of Michigan, and Murphy, who represents Pennsylvania, released the email along with their letter to Tavenner. The document was sent to Julie Bataille, CMS’ communications chief, and it instructed staff on how to respond to questions from people who were having problems applying for Obamacare.
“Please delete this email but see if we can work on call script,” Tavenner said at the start of the document.
The rollout of the Obamacare individual mandate was on Oct. 1, and it was marred with problems from the outset — primarily because of myriad difficulties Americans had with accessing and using the HealthCare.gov website. The site covers 36 states.
“We are regrouping over here on a process recommendation for discussion to ensure that we are all working off of the same understanding of how things work (like this) and what is going on to prevent confusion, lots of emails, and phone calls,” Tavenner later said in the email.