Health website incompetence deserves a one-way ticket to TopekaOur Botcher-in-Chief is searching for a fall gal to blame for the continuing train wreck that is Obamacare, and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius seems the likely pick.
By: Bogdan Kipling, For the News Tribune
Our Botcher-in-Chief is searching for a fall gal to blame for the continuing train wreck that is Obamacare, and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius seems the likely pick.
Sebelius, the former Democratic governor of Kansas, recently testified at the House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing where Republicans and even some Democrats prodded her about why Health
care.gov and Obamacare itself seem to be on life support.
With her testimony, Sebelius indicated a willingness to cooperate with Congress, thus muting charges that the Obama administration was engaged in a wholesale cover-up.
Even with that testimony, Sebelius, as she freely admitted, is stuck with ownership of the Obamacare website fiasco. If historical standards for incompetence are still in play, Sebelius already would be back in Topeka.
Sebelius has had a strange disdain for Capitol Hill when you consider that her father, John Gilligan, was a member of the House before becoming a Democratic of governor of Ohio.
Until recently Sebelius not only was turning a cold shoulder to Congress, but to the Fourth Estate as well.
A few weeks ago, the Associated Press obtained an internal memo from Sebelius’ department stating the administration expected to have 500,000 people enrolled in Obamacare by the end of October and 3.3 million by the end of the year.
Responding to an AP query about those expectations, Sebelius’ HHS declined to answer, but did issue a statement saying that the administration “has not set monthly enrollment targets.”
Of course, the Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act passed the Democratic-controlled House and Senate in March of 2010, so Sebelius has had about 42 months to get its website up and rolling.
Unfortunately for Sebelius, a likely majority of Americans, warily waiting for Obamacare to take control of one-sixth of the world’s leading economy, now view her performance as the nation’s chief health advocate as an unmitigated disaster.
As anger and frustration have mounted over the inaccessibility of the health-care website, Sebelius has become the target of catcalls, jeering jokes on late-night talk shows and increasing numbers of shouts from both sides of the aisle for her resignation. It’s difficult for Americans to have much faith in someone who can’t oversee the construction of a website — in an age when thousands of sites are successfully launched each day.
“It’s tough to take these shots,” Sebelius said a few days ago. “But I will take them until we get this right.”
Taxpayers may be frowning at the thought. But somewhere in Guilford Cemetery in Surrey, England, the skeleton of Lewis Carroll must be grinning — Alice in Wonderland lives on.
Bogdan Kipling is a Canadian journalist in Washington.