President Barack Obama’s spokesman is backing Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius amid a complete failure of the Obamacare online network and numerous calls for her firing.
Sebelius “does have the full confidence of the President,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said Oct. 15.
“She like everyone else, is focused on our number one priority… making the implementation of the Affordable Care Act work well,” Carney said.
Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, called Oct. 15 for the firing of Sebelius.
“There must be accountability for this astounding failure and waste of taxpayer money,” Priebus said in a statement.
Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services “abused the trust and tax dollars of the American people… She should be fired,” he said.
“If this were a company and not the government, she’d already be gone,” he declared.
A new RNC video highlights a statement by Robert Gibbs, a former top spokesman for Obama, who said Obama should fire the people responsible for the software crash.
“I hope they fire some people that were in charge of making sure this thing was supposed to work… these were glitches that go, quite frankly, way beyond the pale of what should be expected,” Gibbs said in a MSNBC interview Oct. 14.
The online system was such a failure that major insurers reported only hundreds of sign-ups in a market expected to include more than 15 million customers. States also showed meager results. Alaska, for example, reportedly didn’t get a single sign-up during the first 10 days.
Obama’s deputies have spent more than $400 million to launch the online gateway to the insurance network.
The Democrats’ network, sometimes dubbed Obamacare, allows top politicians to set the rules and prices for health-insurance needed by 310 million Americans.
The online gateway to the network crashed on opening day, Oct. 1, largely because of political priorities set by Obama and his deputies.
For example, instead of showing insurance plans available to people in each location, the Internet site requires people to provide detailed information about their income, health and families.
The information is used to tell some people how much of a subsidy they’ll get from the government. Critics say the presentation of the subsidy information was deemed vital to offset the sticker shock of the new government-designed insurance plans, which include more company provided services than many people want to buy.
Prior to the passage of the law, Americans and their employers were freer to choose which health-care services they wanted to purchase. Now, Americans face tax penalties if they don’t buy government-designed insurance, which also tends to cost more, especially when purchased by young and healthy people.
In the first six months of 2013, employers prepared for the new health care system by cutting labor costs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ household survey showed that employers actually reduced their full-time jobs by 16,000 a month, while adding only 140,000 part-time jobs per month.