Congressional Republicans investigating last fall's botched launch of HealthCare.gov revealed Friday that a top Obamacare official had asked her spokeswoman to delete an email from a senior White House advisor that discussed problems with customer service calls about that website.
Those Republicans now want Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Marilyn Tavenner to explain that deletion request, and to reveal if she has asked staff to "delete or otherwise destroy emails, communications or any other documents relating to HealthCare.gov." The Republicans said the Obama administration has a "pattern" of being unable to preserve records.
Tavenner's email asking the subordinate to delete an email was turned over to the House Energy and Commerce Committee last week, just a day after her staff told the committee that some copies of her email communications might have been lost.
"Please delete this email," Tavenner wrote to then-CMS spokeswoman Julie Bataille on Oct. 5, 2013.
Tavenner was referring to an email sent to her and other Obama administration officials hours earlier on that same day, a Saturday, from Jeanne Lambrew, President Obama's health policy advisor. Lambrew's initial email was in the thread directly below Tavenner's brief note to Bataille.