Obamacare Overseer Sebelius Faces The Music - Live Webcast
In yesterday's stage-setting drama, "coming in mid-November" replaced of the often heard "plead the fifth" as response of choice for Marilyn Tavenner (CMS Administrator). Today brings the main event, amid another server crash, as Kathleen Sebelius (HHS Secretary) takes the stand to explain healthcare.gov's shortcomings and how great it will all be at some point in the future if we just have some patience, spend a few more billions of taxpayer money on lines of code, and ignore the fact that the website is just the start of the problems with Obamacare... Her initial remarks (released early - below) are almost exactly the same as her testimony to Congress (and a carbon copy of Tavenner's remarks): “I want to assure you that HealthCare.gov can be fixed, and we are working around the clock to give you the experience that you deserve.”
Tavenner's remarks yesterday:
Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., speaking on the Senate floor, called Tuesday for Sebelius' resignation. Alexander is the top Republican on the Senate health panel.
"Mr. President, at some point there has to be accountability. Expecting this secretary to be able to fix what she hasn't been able to fix during the last three-and-a-half years is unrealistic," he said. "It's throwing good money after bad. It's time for her to resign -- someone else to take charge."
In written testimony released ahead of today's hearing, Sebelius vowed to improve the website and said the consumer experience to date is "not acceptable." But she defended the law itself and said extensive work and testing is being done.
"We are working to ensure consumers' interaction with HealthCare.gov is a positive one, and that the Affordable Care Act fully delivers on its promise," she said in the prepared remarks.
Sebelius blamed the website contractors and the "initial wave of interest" for the glitches, but expressed confidence in the experts and specialists working to solve "complex technical issues."
"By enlisting additional technical help, aggressively monitoring errors, testing to prevent new issues from cropping up, and regularly deploying fixes to the site, we are working to ensure consumers’ interaction with HealthCare.gov is a positive one, and that the Affordable Care Act fully delivers on its promise," she said.
Full statement from Sebelius:
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