GOP threatens subpoenas over Obamacare payments

Two House committee chairmen are threatening to subpoena top administration officials over payments made to health insurance companies to offset reduced-price insurance plans offered to people under Obamacare.

House Ways and Means Committee Chair Kevin Brady, R-Texas, and Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Fred Upton, R-Mich., sent letters requesting interviews by next week with a handful of employees who work for the Health and Human Services Department and the Internal Revenue Service.

The two lawmakers said the request comes after the administration has ignored two requests for information about Obamacare's cost-sharing reduction program, which helps lower prices of Obamacare insurance plans. Under the program, the government is allowed to pay back insurance companies to offset these lower prices.

But the GOP lawmakers say Congress never appropriated money for the government to pay back the companies, and say the government has already reimbursed insurance companies with money that was meant to go toward tax refunds. Lawmakers also say payments have gone out illegally after the Obama administration unsuccessfully asked Congress to fund the program.

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