Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius is in the unenviable position of defending the largely inoperable ObamaCare website and has embarked on a multi-city campaign to that end. The Western Center for Journalism was there during a stop Thursday at the Wesley Health Center in Phoenix.
Sebelius largely evaded answering questions head-on, preferring to stick to the platitudes and excuses for which the current administration is known.
When asked for a response to the increasing number of calls for her resignation, she offered a bristling retort that “the majority of people calling for me to resign … are people who I don’t work for and who do not want this program to work in the first place.”
Apparently not fully grasping the fact that, as a public servant, she works for each and every American, she also added that “no one has been fired” as a result of the debacle.
“It’s no question the website doesn’t function efficiently for everybody who wants coverage,” she conceded, claiming that “initial problems were caused by a surge in demand.”
She confirmed that “we have asked all of our contractors who have been part of this project to bring additional people and talent” to address the many issues, as well as private sector specialists. It is still unclear, however, why these experts were not consulted ahead of the roll out if their input is so valuable now.
Though she offered no concrete numbers regarding how many individuals have successfully enrolled in ObamaCare, she said that the program currently has “700,000 applications that have been submitted for health insurance.”
In an attempt to portray that as a success, she insisted that there is plenty of time to make up for the rough start.
“In football terminology,” she said, ObamaCare is “early in the first quarter. No one is losing coverage now.”
That won’t happen until Jan. 1, Sebelius noted, adding that “if somebody enrolls on Dec. 15, they will have coverage on Day One.”
Hoping to steer the conversation away from the serious problems concerning online enrollment, she insisted that “this healthcare plan is not about a website.”
What ObamaCare is about, of course, is increased taxes and more government intrusion into the lives of each American. For that reason, the plan itself is about as popular as the constant error messages displayed at healthcare.gov.
–B. Christopher Agee
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