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Kay Hagan calls for probe of Obamacare roll-out

U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan, under fire from Republicans for her support of the new health care law, said Tuesday she’s asking for an investigation of the Obama administration’s botched roll-out.

“We need to figure out why this happened and make sure it never happens again,” Hagan said in a morning conference call with reporters.

The Democratic senator, who faces re-election next year, said she plans to formally request an investigation by the Government Accountability Office and the Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General.

Hagan criticized the contractors who deployed the Healthcare.gov system as well as the bureaucrats who hired them. The website that is essential to determining coverage options and costs has been largely unusable since it launched.

Hagan declined to say whether heads should roll at DHHS.

“Once I’m able to look at this accountability, then I’ll be able to make better determination about what took place,” she said. “Transparency and accountability from the administration is what we’re looking for … The administration needs to show what the punch list is.”

Hagan said she also signed onto a bill introduced by Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana that would ensure people can keep their current coverage. In some cases, people have had existing health insurance plans discontinued and replaced with more expensive ones.

Hagan is one of three Democrats to sign on as co-sponsors. Two, like Landrieu, face tough re-election races next year.

Republicans called her efforts “an act of pure political desperation.”

“Kay Hagan wasn't being honest when she promised that everyone could keep their health plans if they liked them, and as a result many North Carolinians are losing their health care plans and face skyrocketing costs,” said Brook Hougesen, a spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

Hagan defended aspects of the Affordable Care Act, such as guaranteed coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.

“The positive impacts of this law do not excuse its unacceptable roll-out problems,” she said, “and I will continue working to get answers for North Carolinians who deserve transparency and accountability.”

Morrill: 704-358-5059
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