Alexander calls for resignation of U.S. Health Secretary Sibelius

U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander

Lamar Alexander

Kathleen Sebelius

Kathleen Sebelius

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius should be asked to resign because of the “disastrous rollout of Obamacare,” Sen. Lamar Alexander said Tuesday.

“No private sector chief executive officer would escape accountability after such a poor performance,” said Alexander, a Tennessee Republican.

The Affordable Care Act of 2010, commonly known as “Obamacare,” set up health care exchanges, and the new HealthCare.gov website that rolled out Oct. 1 was designed to allow people to sign up for them. But the site has been plagued by technical problems, although officials have said they would be fixed by the end of November.

Alexander expressed skepticism that the problems would be resolved that quickly.

“Expecting this secretary to be able to fix in a few weeks what she has not been able to fix during the last three and one half years is unrealistic,” Alexander said. “It is throwing good money after bad.”

Alexander is the ranking Republican on the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. He said there are at least 1.5 million Americans who are losing health care coverage starting Jan. 1 because their policies are not legal under the new health care law, Obama’s signature domestic policy initiative.

“If the exchange is not working, they will not be able to choose another policy through that exchange,” Alexander said. “At some point there has to be accountability. Taxpayers have spent $400 million to create exchanges that, after three and one half years, still don’t work.”

He said Sebelius appears to have not told the president about known problems with the website in the months and days leading up to the launch of the online health insurance marketplace. And, despite repeated requests, she has refused to tell Congress or the public the reasons the HealthCare.gov website continues to fail, while insisting on more time and an undisclosed amount of money to fix it, Alexander said.

Alexander has also introduced a bill requiring the administration to provide weekly reports to Congress and to states with data about enrollment in the 36 federally run exchanges, efforts to resolve the site’s technological problems, and information about organizations contracted as navigators.

NBC News reported that Republicans and Democrats alike have been strongly critical of the site, and Republicans have said they believe the problems reflect weaknesses in the entire health care overhaul called for by the 2010 Affordable Care Act.

The administration denies this and says the website, one of the main pillars of the reforms called for under the law, is getting better every day, NBC News said.

More than 30 other Republican members of Congress also have called for Sebelius to resign over the website’s technical problems, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported.

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  • TJ Garland

    Pot calling the kettle black–
    They all should be sent home- Congressmen, staff, and all department heads.
    April 3, 2013
    Senator Patty Murray
    Senator Maria Cantwell
    Washington, DC , 20510

    Dear Senators:

    I have tried to live by the rules my entire life. My father was a Command Sergeant Major, U.S. Army, who died of combat related stresses shortly after his retirement. It was he who instilled in me those virtues he felt important – honesty, duty, patriotism and obeying the laws of God and of our various governments. I have served my country, paid my taxes, worked hard, volunteered and donated my fair share of money, time and artifacts.

    Today, as I approach my 79th birthday, I am heart-broken when I look at my country and my government. I shall only point out a very few things abysmally wrong which you can multiply by a thousand fold. I have calculated that all the money I have paid in income taxes my entire life cannot even keep the Senate barbershop open for one year! Only Heaven and a few tight-lipped actuarial types know what the Senate dining room costs the taxpayers. So please, enjoy your haircuts and meals on us.

    Last year, the president spent an estimated $1.4 billion on himself and his family. The vice president spends $millions on hotels. They have had 8 vacations so far this year! And our House of Representatives and Senate have become America’s answer to the Saudi royal family. You have become the “perfumed princes and princesses” of our country.

    In the middle of the night, you voted in the Affordable Health Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare,” a bill which no more than a handful of senators or representatives read more than several paragraphs, crammed it down our throats, and then promptly exempted yourselves from it substituting your own taxpayer-subsidized golden health care insurance.

    You live exceedingly well, eat and drink as well as the “one percenters,” consistently vote yourselves perks and pay raises while making 3.5 times the average U.S. individual income, and give up nothing while you (as well as the president and veep) ask us to sacrifice due to sequestration (for which, of course, you plan to blame the Republicans, anyway).

    You understand very well the only two rules you need to know – (1) How to get elected, and (2) How to get re-elected. And you do this with the aid of an eagerly willing and partisan press, speeches permeated with a certain economy of truth, and by buying the votes of the greedy, the ill-informed and under-educated citizens (and non-citizens, too, many of whom do vote) who are looking for a handout rather than a job. Your so-called “safety net” has become a hammock for the lazy. And, what is it now, about 49 or 50 million on food stamps – pretty much all Democrat voters – and the program is absolutely rife with fraud with absolutely no congressional oversight?

    I would offer that you are not entirely to blame. What changed you is the seductive environment of power in which you have immersed yourselves. It is the nature of both houses of Congress which requires you to subordinate your virtue in order to get anything done until you have achieved a leadership role. To paraphrase President Reagan, it appears that the second oldest profession (politics), bears a remarkably strong resemblance to the oldest.

    As the hirsute first Baron John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton (1834-1902), English historian and moralist, so aptly and accurately stated, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.” I’m only guessing that this applies to the female sex as well. Tell me, is there a more corrupt entity in this country than Congress?

    While we middle class people continue to struggle, our government becomes less and less transparent, more and more bureaucratic, and ever so much more dictatorial, using Czars and Secretaries to tell us (just to mention a very few) what kind of light bulbs we must purchase, how much soda or hamburgers we can eat, what cars we can drive, gasoline to use, and what health care we must buy. Countless thousands of pages of regulations strangle our businesses costing the consumer more and more every day.

    As I face my final year, or so, with cancer, my president and my government tell me “You’ll just have to take a pill,” while you, Senator, your colleagues, the president, and other exulted government officials and their families will get the best possible health care on our tax dollars until you are called home by your Creator while also enjoying a retirement beyond my wildest dreams, which of course, you voted for yourselves and we pay for.

    The chances of you reading this letter are practically zero as your staff will not pass it on, but with a little luck, a form letter response might be generated by them with an auto signature applied, hoping we will believe that you, our senator or representative, has heard us and actually cares. This letter will, however, go on line where many others will have the chance to read one person’s opinion, rightly or wrongly, about this government, its administration and its senators and representatives.

    I only hope that occasionally you might quietly thank the taxpayer for all the generous entitlements which you have voted yourselves, for which, by law, we must pay, unless, of course, it just goes on the $17 trillion national debt for which your children and ours, and your grandchildren and ours, ad infinitum, must eventually try to pick up the tab.

    My final thoughts are that it must take a person who has either lost his or her soul, or conscience, or both, to seek re-election and continue to destroy this country I deeply love and put it so far in debt that we will never pay it off while your lot improves by the minute, because of your power. For you, Senator, will never stand up to the rascals in your House who constantly deceive the American people. And that, my dear Senator, is how power has corrupted you and the entire Congress. The only answer to clean up this cesspool is term limits. This, of course, will kill the goose that lays your golden eggs. And woe be to him (or her) who would dare to bring it up.
    Sincerely,

    Bill Schoonover
    3096 Angela Lane
    Oak Harbor, Washington

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