Audits and investigations into the effects of ObamaCare from congressional committees, government auditors, advocacy groups, and others.

The GOP committee chairmen issued subpoenas for Health and Human Services (HHS) documents related the “Basic Health Program,” which they say the administration is unconstitutionally funding despite a lack of appropriation from Congress.

Republicans say the Obama administration is paying out these funds for the program even though Congress has not appropriated the money. The administration argues that it already has a permanent appropriation under the Affordable Care Act, but Republicans say that permanent appropriation was only for the law’s tax credits, not for the Basic Health Program.

The justices heard oral arguments in the case just last week. Now they are asking the parties to address how employees would obtain contraceptive coverage through their employer’s insurance companies without any involvement from the employer, including notifying the government, their insurer, or third-party administrator of their objection.

The parties have the opportunity to spell out for the Supreme Court how such a system could work without controlling the Little Sisters’ and other employers’ insurance plans.

The Supreme Court asked for additional information from both sides on “whether and how” employees of religious nonprofits could get contraceptive coverage through other means that would be less objectionable to their employers.

The goal, is to address how employees could still get contraceptive coverage “but in a way that does not require any involvement” from the religious employers, meaning they would not have to sign the form that they currently object to.

Federal officials have been lucky until now, but the Affordable Care Act’s Internet web portal could become a hacker’s playground — with plenty of sensitive data compromised — without a significant tightening of security, according to a new report by the Government Accountability Office.

The new warning comes on the sixth anniversary of the enactment of the ACA and addresses security problems related to the personal information — including names, addresses, Social Security numbers and sensitive income and tax details — of literally millions of Americans who have enrolled in the insurance program online through HealthCare.gov.

A government report revealed that CMS has failed to protect healthcare.gov. The site that millions use to purchase health insurance under the ACA logged 316 cybersecurity incidents during an 18-month period.

The CMS has also failed to adequately monitor security controls at state-based insurance marketplaces, according to the watchdog. In a previous report, the GAO found three states with “significant weaknesses,” including insufficient encryption and inadequately configured firewalls.

The challengers, Zubik v. Burwell, argue the Obama administration is unjustifiably forcing religious groups like the Little Sisters of the Poor to cover birth control, despite an arrangement in which insurers provide contraception directly.

The administration counters that the challengers are threatening contraceptive access for women and say the court risks setting a dangerous precedent if it finds in their
favor.

The case considers Obamacare’s rule requiring nonprofit employers to provide contraception coverage as part of insurance plans. Rev. David Zubik, the Catholic bishop for Pittsburgh, is leading the charge in the case, which consolidated the complaints of objecting Christian universities and groups like Little Sisters of the Poor.

The Supreme Court on March 23 will  weigh how far the government has to go to accommodate religiously affiliated employers that object to including contraception in workers’ insurance plans. The issues has been brewing since shortly after the Affordable Care Act was signed into law in 2010.

The federal government should do more to prevent people from fraudulently obtaining health insurance subsidies under the Affordable Care Act, the U.S. Government Accountability Office said in testimony to the Senate Finance Committee.

The testimony, delivered on Thursday in person and in writing by GAO spokesman Seto Bagdoyan, caps an extensive investigation by the GAO which found that, as of last April, about 431,000 people were still allowed to receive subsidies for insurance purchased through the federal exchange in 2014 despite possible inconsistencies in their applications.

 

 

A four-year-old fight between the Catholic Church and the Obama administration reaches the Supreme Court on Wednesday, in a bishop’s challenge to the health-care law’s contraception requirements that could alter the boundaries of religious freedom.

Eight justices will weigh how far the government has to go to accommodate religiously affiliated employers that object to including contraception in workers’ insurance plans. The outcome could affect as many as a million Catholic nonprofit employees. The case comes after the court’s 2014 Hobby Lobby ruling that for-profit businesses could assert such objections.