The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is asking lawmakers not to seat ObamaCare consultant Jonathan Gruber next to Medicare’s top official when the two testify on Capitol Hill next week. 

HHS Assistant Secretary for Legislation Jim Esquea wrote to the House Oversight Committee with the request, stating that government witnesses are “almost always afforded an opportunity” to sit alone or with other federal officials. 

“The accommodation of separate panels for government witnesses reflects important comity in congressional-executive relations,” Esquea wrote. “The relatively few exceptions to this practice reinforce the seriousness of this accommodation.”