Skip to comments.Dems close ranks on Sebelius
Posted on 10/30/2013 5:25:32 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
Senate Democrats on Tuesday closed ranks behind Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, declaring she should keep her job despite problems plaguing the Affordable Care Acts insurance exchanges.
Democrats sought to deflect criticism by Republicans who have called for Sebeliuss ouster over what even Democrats acknowledge has been a botched rollout of the landmark law.
Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), the chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, praised the implementation of ObamaCare for proceeding smoothly compared to other massive federal programs.
If you compare it to all kinds of other programs of large magnitude, its actually ahead of schedule, including Social Security, Medicare and a whole lot of other things, he said.
Rockefeller said neither Sebelius nor any other high-ranking officials at Health and Human Services should be fired.
Should any Republicans have stepped down? he asked in reference to GOP lawmakers who have repeatedly attempted to impede the laws implementation.
Sebelius is scheduled to testify Wednesday before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, where she faces a harsh reception.
Two centrist Democrats facing tough reelections next year pointedly declined to defend Sebelius but they did not call for her resignation either.
I havent decided. Im not calling for it. Ill look at it. Ill continue to monitor it, said Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), one of the chambers most vulnerable incumbents in 2014.
I think thats up to the president, but people should be held accountable, said Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) when asked about Sebeliuss future. The president is the executive. He should make these decisions.
In the House, Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.), a perennial GOP target, also declined to endorse Sebelius or call for her removal.
No comment, McIntyre told The Hill.
Other centrist Democrats in the Senate defended the embattled health secretary.
I think we need to quit worrying about placing blame and start worrying about getting the system to work, said Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.).
She said its too early to know whether any administration officials should lose their jobs because of systematic technical problems affecting HealthCare.gov.
I believe we need to keep all hands on deck getting this fixed. Yes, Kathleen Sebelius needs to take responsibility, but it will cause more problems, in my view, having the secretary step down at this point, said Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), one of the GOPs top targets in 2014.
Marilyn Tavenner, the head of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), apologized for the botched rollout during a House hearing Tuesday.
I want to apologize to [the American people] that the website has not worked as well as it should, she told the House Ways and Means Committee.
Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), the committees chairman, complained that Sebelius had told his panel a dozen times that the administration would be ready for the Oct. 1 rollout date.
He said if CMS, which falls under the Department of Health and Human Services, had been more honest about the laws problems, many of these glitches could have been avoided.
Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) set the tone Tuesday when he demanded on the Senate floor that Sebelius face consequences.
Taxpayers have spent $400 million to create exchanges that, after 3 1/2 years, still dont work, he said. No private sector chief executive officer would escape accountability after such a poor performance.
His speech caught the attention of Senate Democrats, who are more inclined to ignore conservative and Tea Party critics like Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas).
I respect Lamar Alexander. I know hes part of the common-ground coalition, said Landrieu. But the Republican Party, their right-wing extremists have been undermining this effort every way, shape or form.
Landrieu clarified that she does not view Alexander as an extremist but said any blame leveled at the laws faulty rollout should also be directed at the GOP.
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) praised Sebelius as strong and smart.
She knows the problems, at this point, better than anyone else, and I have confidence in her, she said.
McCaskill said lower-ranking officials who might have misrepresented the technical progress of the laws implementation should face punishment.
The hard thing is going to be pinpointing whos responsible, she said.
I would not be opposed if someone presented to the secretary and to others who did not have great technical capability that technically that everything was perfect thats probably the person who should be fired.
Somebody knew that there were huge technical problems, McCaskill added.
Democrats expressed hoped that Jeffrey Zients, the former deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, would help smooth the laws implementation.
I have a lot of faith in Jeff Zients, and lets see what they come up with, said Sen. Charles Schumer (N.Y.), the third-ranking member of the Senate Democratic leadership.
He predicted the laws glitches will be forgotten rather quickly in our fast-moving world.
"Republicans close ranks behind Cruz"
MCCAIN IS GOING TO TRY AND SAVE IT. Guaranteed. George Soros wants us to be dragged to fiscal oblivion by socialized medicine and John McCain is his puppy—bought and sold.
One thing to say about the Democrats...they stand behind their own. The Republicans tend to cut and run...even when their fellow Republican did nothing wrong. Sen. Trent Lott comes to mind...
Keep Sebelius. She’s the face of stupidity, incompetence and fascist arrogance. Print her face on cereal boxes, milk cartons and manhole covers.
He (Schummer) predicted the laws glitches will be forgotten rather quickly in our fast-moving world.
That’s what they’re hoping, but I don’t think so. When you take the best medical care in the world and destroy it, I think (and hope) that Americans will have long memories—especially when it’s time to go to the voting booth.
Demoncrats: “Yes, the ship is sinking, due to the idiotic decisions made by all top level personnel, but at this point it would do more harm than good to replace them, so let’s just let the ship sink first and then we will have new a new crew come in for the salvage operation.” This time we will get the best and the brightest.
The poor got better and faster medical care for free by just going to the nearest hospital emergency room than they will get with Obamacare.
Landrieu = Lamar
Wounded Lame Ducks
Unfortunately, there are only a handful of real Republicans left, the rest of the seats are filled with RINOs!
I don’t think that is correct.
As I drive around, I see a proliferation of Doc in a Box facilities recently opened and operated by hospitals. These facilities will shunt the riff raff away from the ER’s and will provide service to anybody waving their card around.
Let them all defend this disaster. They all voted for it.
Like Eichmann defending Hitler to me.
Are you calling them “Little Eichmanns”. ;)
Just evidence that the Dims voted for the exact disaster hoping to get to single paer.
I think it will be best for us if Sebelius is NOT fired (although there is no question that she would be in the private sector). Her face will keep reminding people of their outrage at the failures and lies of 0bamacare.
Got to give them credit for staying on message-Nasssty Republicans. They are tricksy extremists.
I listened to the NPR news update at 8 this morning. They played a Jay Carney clip saying five percent would lose their insurance. However, coverage would be cheaper! better! Tax subsidies! Then they left that happy unicorn on the rainbow update and moved on to the next segment.
Ok photoshopers, need a pick of Kat as the wicked witch and the idiot dems as her flying monkeys.
McLame already said they’ll be pushing Amnesty after the primaries.
Understood—but he’s going to try to bail them out of Obamacare too. He said Amnesty after the primary season (GRAHAM) is over.
I’d prefer on urinal splash-stoppers.
We should remember this the next time WE have someone say something true, yet, politically incorrect. Todd Akin. Rats always rally around their people, no matter how stupid or reprobate. We throw our people under the bus anytime the Rats tell us to.
Competence and failure have no meaning to Democrats. As others have said they want points for good intentions.
Or go to the doctor.
It's like the airplane that pushes away from the jetway right on time, but then sits on the tarmac because there's 500 million planes waiting to take off before yours.
she will be 0’s fall person, to call her a woman is an insult to real women. Ditto goes for the 1st clothes horse.
Actually, I hope they keep her in charge of it. Judging by her track record, she’ll just screw it up more, and that’s a good thing. She needs to keep it screwed up until the Thug-In-Chief’s term of office is finished, and then maybe his successor can be induced to to scrap it, since Soetero’s massive ego will no longer be a factor.
I agree. We need to stop letting them hold us to standards which they sneer at and ignore when it’s one of their own. “Macaca”?
translation: Confirmation hearings for her replacement would be an absolute bloodbath.
I say keep the whole pack of incompetents. We don’t want them to get fired, we want them to fail MISERABLY.
We should keep our mouths shut and just sit back and watch them sink their own ship.
They are nuts.
Rockerfeller gets the prize for "non sequitur" of the year.
I also caught that on the radio this morning on my drive to work (but you couldn't pay me to listen to NPR!).
5% of ~ 300M Americans would be 15M without insurance ... which is pretty much the number of uninsured BEFORE Obamacare was foisted upon us! (if you deduct the illegals and those who could afford insurance but chose to not carry it)
“Print her face on cereal boxes, milk cartons and manhole covers.”
I was thinking of urinal cakes, but the others will do.
It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions that by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.- Thomas Sowell
Nice try, Chuckie. I'd rather liken Obamacare's problems to a person with a sore foot....they're reminded EVERY step they take.
Duly stolen for an updated tag line! ;-P
We peasants don't understand how the world works. Smart politicians like Landrieu do.
keep ol’ Cruella one-eye Sebelius
she’s the very embodiment of obamacare
statist “wisdom compassion and efficiency”
after her practice shot in Philly last summer denying that dying child a place on the lung transplant list (which her doctors recommended) think of how many organ transplants, hip replacements and chemotherapy regimes One-eye is going to get to turn down
There is no one better qualified for the job of chief gatekeeper between US citizens and their doctors
“... Print her face on cereal boxes, milk cartons and manhole covers...”
We are severely screwed as far as I can tell........
Of course they will close ranks. Thats their greatest strength,,,unity. The GOP and conservatives? They will rip each others throats out. The GOP and conservatives consider each other the greatest enemy,,,not bam-bam or the donk party or libs. Meanwhile the libs just sit back with their bag of popcorn and enjoy the show.
The darn thing is a half a billion dollars over budget, talk about reparations!!!
Well, If the GOP got a billion dollars of media time donated annually they’d be able to hang together. They still can’t believe they’ll hang apart.
Saul Alinsky’s rules #13, #5, and #8.
Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.
Ridicule is mans most potent weapon.
Keep the pressure on. Never let up.
I’d never heard her speak before today.
What an incredibly annoying voice.
I realize she comes from a long line of politicians (the spawn of idiot Ohio Gov Gilligan).
But Lord, how did this woman get elected Gov of Kansas?