Sebelius in the Hot Seat
She could avoid the public no longer. After attempting to dodge responsibility for the failure of Healthcare.gov, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius finally testified before a congressional committee this morning. To her credit, Kathleen “Death Panel” Sebelius did come out and apologize to the American people: “You deserve better. I apologize. I'm accountable to you.” Later during an exchange with Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn, Sebelius was forced again to state, “Hold me accountable for this debacle. I'm responsible.” It was very evident that each side came to this hearing with an agenda. Republicans wanted to focus on those millions of Americans losing coverage because of Obamacare regulations, and Democrats wanted to use the opportunity to tout the supposed benefits of ObamaCare and bash Republicans for their opposition to the law. Washington at its finest.
During the hearings Sebelius went as far as to say that the website itself has “never crashed,” which was comical considering that Healthcare.gov was down during Sebelius' testimony! She specifically named Verizon and the recent issue with their “cloud,” which she says has nothing to do with Healthcare.gov itself. But the fact remains that the site itself is deeply, deeply flawed. It wasn't properly tested. Blaming Verizon's issues or contractors may be convenient but it doesn't speak to the fact that those in government who were ultimately responsible rolling out this site failed miserably. They weren't realistic about their expectations of what the site could offer and a reasonable timeline to complete the project. Website developer Stephan Hilbelink has a piece that explains five key reasons why the administration should get the majority of the blame for the poor website rollout, not the contractors.
They Were Warned
For all the issues, what’s the worst situation is that we know for a fact that this administration was warned at least a month ahead of time that the site would not be ready for launch, according to a CGI memo obtained by CNN. Yet this administration will maintain that it didn't know. How is that possible? Someone is not telling the truth here. I'm inclined to believe the contractor in this case. This administration has given me absolutely no reason to trust them. Obama claims ignorance on so many issues, his administration refuses to claim responsibility for nearly anything and now we know that they have blatantly lied to us in order to advance their agenda. The bottom line is either Sebelius and her team knew that there were major problems, that the site likely wouldn't work, yet they proceeded anyway, or they were incompetent in believing that this site was ready for prime-time. Take your pick. Either choice doesn't bode well for Sebelius or this administration.