WASHINGTON — The House on Thursday approved Rep. Lee Terry's bill to require weekly reports on those signing up for health insurance through the new online marketplaces.
The Omaha Republican said the bill was partly a response to state insurance regulators who are frustrated by a lack of information about who is enrolling in which insurance plans. Currently, information is provided on a monthly basis.
Terry said more-frequent reports would be useful to everyone, Democrats and Republicans alike.
“What we're talking about today is basic transparency so we all have the data to assess what's working and what's not,” Terry said.
The bill passed easily, 259-154. Terry had the support of his home state colleagues, Reps. Adrian Smith and Jeff Fortenberry, both Republicans. Iowa's entire House delegation, two Republicans and two Democrats, also voted for the legislation.
The bill's prospects in the Senate are unclear, however. Although the GOP-controlled House has voted dozens of times to roll back, repeal or modify the new health care law, the vast majority of those efforts have been ignored by the Senate, which is controlled by the Democrats.
And the White House opposes the bill, saying it would prove costly and burdensome. Administration officials have said monthly reports are the best way to provide accurate, reliable information.
Terry repeatedly pointed to a report by the Congressional Budget Office that found the bill would have zero cost.
“This should be easy,” Terry said.