Ben Johnson co-wrote this article.
WASHINGTON, D.C., October 24, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Nearly three dozen legislators have called for the resignation of Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, whom they say should be held responsible for the disastrous implementation of ObamaCare.
After a rocky introduction of the controversial Affordable Care Act – which included a widespread failure of the health care exchange website, the cancellation of thousands of private health insurance plans, and complaints from thousands more Americans who saw their premiums and deductibles skyrocket — Rep. John Fleming, R-LA, sent a letter to the White House Wednesday co-signed by more than 30 of his colleagues asking Sebelius to step down.
“The wise thing to do would have been to delay the rollout to allow time for adequate testing” of the malfunctioning website HealthCare.gov, they wrote. “Instead, by rushing to deploy an untested system, many Americans may be surprised to find that they are subject to ObamaCare penalties when they have been unable to sign up due to confusion or technical 'glitches.'”
Although they say the administration's haste cost public trust, “It's not too late. By calling for the resignation of Secretary Sebelius, you can send a powerful signal that the American people will not be held responsible for her department’s failures.” The 33 signatories added, “By granting a delay in the rollout of ObamaCare, you can ensure fairness for all Amercians, not just the select few.”
In an interview with Newsmax TV, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich agreed with all those who have called for Sebelius’s resignation.
“There's no question this is a disaster. It's a multi-hundred-million-dollar disaster. She's in charge of it,” Gingrich told Newsmax. “In the private sector when you have a disaster, you fire the person who's in charge. So, I can't see any justification for her keeping her job that she has failed so deeply to do.”
Sebelius role in ObamaCare's glitch-ridden first days hardly surprised Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue, which is based in Kansas. Newman told LifeSiteNews.com he had seen similar traits in Sebelius during her time as that state's governor.
“She’s been incompetent since day one,” Newman told LifeSiteNews by phone. “When she was governor, she was incompetent, and corrupt. She made corrupt appointments, engaged in cronyism, and broke numerous state laws.”
Newman called Sebelius a “rabid pro-abort” who cares more about expanding access to abortion than anything else in her job description, referring to her implementation of the controversial HHS mandate ordering employers nationwide to provide full coverage for contraception, sterilization, and abortion-causing drugs without a co-pay.
“I think she should lose her job and be forced to sign up for ObamaCare,” he told LifeSiteNews. “That should be her punishment.”
Sebelius has claimed neither she nor President Obama were aware of the massive problems with the government’s health care sign-up website until after its launch October 1.
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In an interview with CNN health correspondent Sanjay Gupta Tuesday night, she still appeared less than certain about why the website does not work, using variations of the phrase “I think” 17 times.
“Well, I think what we know is that we had an enormous volume, and the volume both caused some issues to show up and exposed some additional issues,” she told Gupta. She claimed that despite interface failures and frequent crashes, “people are getting through every day.”
While she seemed not to know why the website had failed or what might be done to fix it, she is aware that the American people expect her to do something about it. “I think my job is to get this fully implemented and to get the website working right,” she told CNN. But she was unable or unwilling to offer specifics on what went wrong with the initial rollout, or why the website continues to function so poorly.
She did concede that in the future, it may be wise for the government to test websites before they launch.
“I think that we talked about having testing, going forward,” Sebelius told CNN.
Gingrich said an administration that shields its inner workings from the public could not be trusted with a website, much less control of the nation's health care infrastructure.
“Everything we're seeing about this rollout is very disturbing,” said Gingrich. “The very fact that I'm talking to you on the day when the president's staff is meeting in secret with the insurance companies should worry every American. What kind of deal is being cut? What kind of story are they agreeing on?”
“They won't tell us the truth about what is happening with the website, they won't tell us how many people are signing up, and the people who go onto the site aren't being given honest, accurate information,” said Gingrich. CBS News found that the rates listed on the website radically understate the actual cost of premiums.
Newman suggested firing Sebelius would be a good first step to correcting problems in the federal government.
“We were fortunate to kick her out” of Kansas, he said. “We were just disappointed to see her inflicted on the rest of the country.”