News

Official in charge of Obamacare exchanges resigns

Official in charge of Obamacare exchanges resigns

OBAMACARE: Gary Cohen, Deputy Administrator and Director of the U.S. Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, testifies before a House Energy and Commerce Oversight. Photo: Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A top U.S. healthcare official, accused by Republicans of misleading Congress about the readiness of the Obamacare rollout, will resign from his post at the end of March, officials said on Thursday.

The departure of Gary Cohen as director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) was announced within the administration on Wednesday in an email from his boss, Marilyn Tavenner, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Cohen, a former California insurance regulator who took up his post in August 2012, has overseen regulatory implementation of the Obamacare health insurance marketplaces, a process that often drew fire from insurers and lawmakers for its slow pace and numerous revisions.

Along with Tavenner and U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Cohen was among top officials who assured Congress that the October 1 launch of the federal enrollment website HealthCare.gov would be successful.

After technical failures rendered the site unusable for most consumers in the first two weeks of the rollout, Republicans accused him of giving them misinformation. Cohen, who was not directly responsible for HealthCare.gov, replied that his earlier optimism had been based on staff reports.

At a January hearing, two House of Representative Republicans told him point blank that he should be fired.

But Tavenner’s March 5 email to CMS staff described Cohen’s March 31 departure at the end of the open enrollment period as amicable.

“I asked Gary to make the personal sacrifice of moving to the East Coast and leaving his family to lead CCIIO. I am very grateful to Gary for his service and knew that the time would come when he would return home. He says that time is at the end of open enrollment,” Tavenner wrote.

His temporary replacement is Dr. Mandy Cohen, a physician who currently heads the insurance oversight agency’s consumer support group.

(Reporting by David Morgan; Editing by Leslie Adler)

Recent Headlines

in Local Sports

Soccer: Unbeaten Vikings win 3-0 at Central Washington

Fresh
wwu western washington university congrats vikes vikings from kpug

No.6 WWU scores three times in first 24 minutes in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference opener.

in Local Sports

Seahawks’ Sherman laughs off reports that he was ‘exposed’ in loss at San Diego

Fresh
San Diego Chargers wide receiver Eddie Royal, left, pushes off Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman during the second half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in San Diego.

Sherman responds to critics following Seahawks' loss at San Diego; now turns attention to Super Bowl rematch Sunday against Broncos.

in Sports

Police: Cardinals RB Dwyer head-butted wife

This is a 2014 photo of Jonathan Dwyer of the Arizona Cardinals NFL football team. This image reflects the Arizona Cardinals active roster as of Monday, June 9, 2014 when this image was taken.

Police say Cardinals running back Jonathan Dwyer head-butted his wife and broke her nose, Cards also release Chris Rainey for his history of domestic violence.

in Entertainment

Kevin Spacey’s stalker sentenced to 4 years

kevin

A Massachusetts woman who threatened to torture the actor has been sentenced to more than four years behind bars.

in Sports

R&A set for historic vote on women members

FILE - In this July 17, 2013 file photo, the Royal and Ancient Golf Club's Chief Executive Peter Dawson listens during a press conference ahead of the British Open Golf Championship at Muirfield, Scotland. Dawson announced last month that he will retire in September 2015 as secretary of the Royal & Ancient Golf Club and chief executive of The R&A, a business division he wisely created 10 years ago. He will have served 16 years, the same tenure as the three R&A secretaries before him. What sets him apart is coping with perhaps the most challenging times in the club's 260-year history.

On the same day Scotland votes on whether to become independent, a historic sporting decision will be made inside arguably the most famous building in golf.