Two House Democrats call for firings over ObamaCare fiasco

posted at 8:01 am on October 24, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Only two? This is the biggest activist-government project in decades, and one would think that Democrats would realize that the scope of this failure puts that agenda at severe risk. So far, though, only a couple of freshman Democrats have figured that out, and even they aren’t putting the names on the pink slips:

At least two vulnerable congressional Democrats are calling for President Obama to fire someone over the shaky implementation of his signature healthcare law.

Rep. Rick Nolan (D-Minn.) said Wednesday that Obama needed to “man up” and hold someone accountable for the rollout.

“I think the president needs to man up, find out who was responsible and fire them,” Nolan told The Associated Press after a briefing with a White House official Wednesday about the law’s implementation. …

Rep. Sean Maloney (D-N.Y.) similarly said he would “like to see somebody lose their job over” the implementation. Maloney, who previously ran his own software company, said he knows what it takes to meet deadlines.

“The success of this program and the ability of folks to navigate these exchanges is more important than protecting anyone who failed to do their job,” Maloney said, according to a transcript provided by his office.

He continued: “I can assure you that I won’t be sugarcoating it. We need to be very honest with people about the fact that there have been real problems with helping people sign up particularly on the website. And that can’t happen – that just can’t happen. I’m glad the administration has been getting in the game on this a little more recently. I think they were slow off the dime. I’d like to see somebody lose their job over this. I think it’s outrageous.”

Note that neither of them called for Kathleen Sebelius specifically to resign; as I pointed out, they’re not actually asking for any specific resignation at all. They want a head or two to roll in order to protect themselves, as both will be facing very angry constituents in next year’s midterms, and neither will have a President popular in their districts at the top of the ticket to protect them. There are really only two heads to roll in this situation — either HHS Secretary Sebelius, who supposedly never told Barack Obama about the problems before the system collapsed on rollout, or CMS chief administrator Marilyn Tavenner, whose group ran the project for the last 42 months. Why not get more specific?

Meanwhile, Rep. John Fleming has three dozen signatures on a petition for Sebelius to resign over the debacle. He told Megyn Kelly last night that Sebelius is the CEO of this effort, and that the failure puts the responsibility squarely on her shoulders. Kelly responds by playing a montage of President Obama’s keep managerial record of, er, only finding out about problems in his administration by reading the newspapers:


Update: Sebelius has her own track record of managerial incompetence, as Patrick Howley reports for the Daily Caller:

Sebelius oversaw numerous costly and disastrous government website projects during her six-year governorship (2003-2009), including a failed update of the Department of Labor’s program to provide unemployment pay and other services and similar updates pertaining to the Department of Administration and the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) services.

The Department of Labor’s overhaul of its computer programs was a notable boondoggle, according to 14-year former Kansas state senator and former state Labor Secretary Karin Brownlee.

“In the Kansas Senate, I chaired the Commerce committee. We had oversight over the Department of Labor. For years, we watched as the Department of Labor under Sebelius worked on that computer program. After seven years and $50 million, something should work,” Brownlee told TheDC.

“In Kansas if you have a 40 or 50 million dollar project, that’s a lot of money,” Brownlee said, noting that the Labor Department project was funded by federal money while other Sebelius website projects sucked up state taxpayer dollars. “They started and stopped that project with at least 3 different major contractors.” …

“Under Sebelius there were a number of computer projects. At the Department of Administration, there was a SMART system for [tracking] financial data about agencies and a system for HR information. The performance on it was extremely poor. The Department of Revenue re-did their DMV programs. That started under Sebelius,” Brownlee said, adding that Brownback was “saddled with that [DMV] contract” when he took office.

Kansas constituents were left waiting days to obtain DMV services.

“In government, these computer transactions are a black hole for tens of millions of dollars,” Brownlee said. “People worked around it and worked the other way pretty much. I don’t know that [Sebelius] was ever personally held responsible for any of this…when you’re trying to serve your citizens somebody has to be responsible.”


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Obama will fire no one, he must keep them close . . . they know too much.

rplat on October 24, 2013 at 8:03 AM

Fire Julio from the mail room…

Electrongod on October 24, 2013 at 8:04 AM

Obama’s upset…you know..

Electrongod on October 24, 2013 at 8:06 AM

How much economic devastation and wasted capital before this legislation is considered treasonous?

Murphy9 on October 24, 2013 at 8:06 AM

Flawlessness

Bmore on October 24, 2013 at 8:07 AM

Two House Democrats call for firings over ObamaCare fiasco

…yes!…that’s going to happen!/

KOOLAID2 on October 24, 2013 at 8:09 AM

Obama will fire no one, he must keep them close . . . they know too much.

rplat on October 24, 2013 at 8:03 AM

Indeed.

herm2416 on October 24, 2013 at 8:09 AM

…the 1-800 operator…that talked to Hannity…on the air!

KOOLAID2 on October 24, 2013 at 8:10 AM

How much economic devastation and wasted capital before this legislation is considered treasonous?
Murphy9 on October 24, 2013 at 8:06 AM

I don’t know, but when the economy takes a nose dive next year the excuses are gonna be epic!

txhsmom on October 24, 2013 at 8:12 AM

Without the gop leadership ENABLING ObamaCare the last three plus years by funding it……

We wouldn’t be here fighting this battle.

Thanks pathetic leaders of the party….you SUCK!!!

PappyD61 on October 24, 2013 at 8:13 AM

There are really only two heads to roll in this situation — either HHS Secretary Sebelius, who supposedly never told Barack Obama about the problems before the system collapsed on rollout, or CMS chief administrator Marilyn Tavenner, whose group ran the project for the last 42 months.

Neither is going anywhere. They will re-assign a couple spear carriers after an “exhaustive” investigation by a blue ribbon panel designed to find nothing and never come close to implicating Sebelius or Tavenner.

Happy Nomad on October 24, 2013 at 8:14 AM

Only two? This is the biggest activist-government project in decades, and one would think that Democrats would realize that the scope of this failure puts that agenda at severe risk

They cannot admit failure. They are the “right ones” who will finally get marxism right (all past efforts failed because they had the wrong people in charge.) Admission of failure means that they aren’t the right people. Which is inconceivable to them.

rbj on October 24, 2013 at 8:14 AM

Here’s where we find out how far Obama is willing to go before setting aside his massive ego and partisanship. Does he fire Sebelius? Does he delay the individual mandate(and possibly other provisions) for a year? And if he does cave on a delay, will he consult with Congress over this or attempt to do it unilaterally?

Doughboy on October 24, 2013 at 8:14 AM

I am against firing. Let the incompetence continue.

steveracer on October 24, 2013 at 8:15 AM

But sebelius helps kill babies really well and barry and the dems like that
….

crosshugger on October 24, 2013 at 8:15 AM

Remember the gop leaders that tried (and are still) to destroy Mike Lee and Ted Cruz…….?

I do.

PappyD61 on October 24, 2013 at 8:15 AM

There are really only two heads to roll in this situation — either HHS Secretary Sebelius, who supposedly never told Barack Obama about the problems before the system collapsed on rollout, or CMS chief administrator Marilyn Tavenner, whose group ran the project for the last 42 months.

Once again, Obama hides behind the skirts of incompetent women.

monalisa on October 24, 2013 at 8:19 AM

We remember Pappy and we’re still mad, but you’ve got to admit watching these regime worms squirm is kinda fun. Obamacare is even worse than we predicted.

txhsmom on October 24, 2013 at 8:20 AM

Former White House chief of staff Bill Daley, interviewed Thursday on “CBS This Morning,” said that Obama “can’t just get stuck on this for the next several weeks.” As for calls that Sebelius be fired, Daley said that would be like firing the captain of the Titanic “after the ship hit the iceberg.”

Nice analogy. Yikes, DingDong isn’t going to be happy with his hometown bro.

herm2416 on October 24, 2013 at 8:21 AM

Obviously, those two rogue programmers should be fired.

The administration will get right on it, just as soon as they’ve fired the two rogue IRS agents.

CJ on October 24, 2013 at 8:21 AM

Isn’t it ridiculous they’re looking for peon fallguys or fallgals? Even Sebelius.

FIRE Senator Landrieu
FIRE Senator Pryor
That’s two off the top of my head who voted for it and are finally up.

Marcus on October 24, 2013 at 8:21 AM

If you want to see someone fired over this debacle, keep an eye on the GOP primaries and the general election next November.

Kafir on October 24, 2013 at 8:22 AM

There MUST be some GS-13 or GS-14 out there getting ready to retire!

NavyMustang on October 24, 2013 at 8:23 AM

Remember the gop leaders that tried (and are still) to destroy Mike Lee and Ted Cruz…….?

I do.

PappyD61 on October 24, 2013 at 8:15 AM

I’m not sweating it. Remember, he who laughs last, laughs best. And Cruz and Lee are gonna sound like hyenas by the time this is all over. They’ve been totally vindicated and I seriously doubt now that any Dem or “moderate” Republican will be using any anti-shutdown talking points on the campaign trail next year as that will inevitably lead to them having to answer questions about Obamacare.

Doughboy on October 24, 2013 at 8:24 AM

O/T: But what about the new software that doctors and pharmacies are going to have to use come january 1.

No one is talking about this issue yet, but can we expect these new programs to work like the new sign up website?

esr1951 on October 24, 2013 at 8:25 AM

Rep. Nolan feels safe enough…in Oberstar’s former seat, to make a statement that somebody needs to fired, when he knows darn well that’s not going to happen.

Buck_Nekkid on October 24, 2013 at 8:26 AM

Heck of a job, Sebie.

mdavt on October 24, 2013 at 8:27 AM

“I think the president needs to man up, find out who was responsible and fire them,” Nolan told…

Nolan was slick. He knows Obama will never ever ‘man up’ so the second and third orders of business noted in the quote were just for show.

egmont on October 24, 2013 at 8:29 AM

“Man up”- Obama? Never in a million years will this idiot take responsibility for anything.That is not in the Community Organizer’s playbook.

jeffinsjvca on October 24, 2013 at 8:30 AM

We remember Pappy and we’re still mad, but you’ve got to admit watching these regime worms squirm is kinda fun. Obamacare is even worse than we predicted.

txhsmom on October 24, 2013 at 8:20 AM

To which “we” are you referring? I think a lot of us had a perfect understanding of what a catastrophe this was going to be….

Anti-Control on October 24, 2013 at 8:32 AM

puts that agenda at severe risk

Well, when you have nearly 50% of the electorate prepared to vote for your party regardless of competence, regardless of how many liberties they take away… as long as they keep promising the gravy train and as long as you’re under the belief that the opposition’s goal is to take away your free stuff… there’s not a “severe” risk of anything.

They could run Lenin against Madison in the Northeast, CA, MI, IL… and he’d win 19 times out of 20.

mankai on October 24, 2013 at 8:39 AM

I for one blame a few rogue employees in Cincinnati and of course George W. Bush.

Drained Brain on October 24, 2013 at 8:42 AM

As the USS Obamacare is beginning its descent into the icy waters of Oblivion, I wonder…

Can Senators. Cruz and Lee start telling everybody,

We told you so?

kingsjester on October 24, 2013 at 8:46 AM

What happens to those people that have already had their insurance cancelled if President Stompy Foot agrees to delay the individual mandate? This is a clusterfark.

mimi1220 on October 24, 2013 at 8:51 AM

Heh. Larry Elder just described Obamacare as a “circle jerk” on Fox and Friends. He was pretty animated. Isn’t he on the Left coast? Not yet 6 am out there. Maybe he had a bit too much coffee to wake up for the early interview.

novaculus on October 24, 2013 at 8:54 AM

I agree. Hopefully their constituents get the message and fire all Democrats who voted for this clusterfuq.

crrr6 on October 24, 2013 at 9:03 AM

Valerie, where are you?
Valerie Jarrett master mind behind Obama seems to have disappeared?
Why does not Congress call her to testify about ObamaCare…and other things?

albill on October 24, 2013 at 9:10 AM

Joe Biden, where you?

albill on October 24, 2013 at 9:10 AM

Bitter clingers 1 liberal technocrats 0

breffnian on October 24, 2013 at 9:23 AM

We’ll see just as much accountability as with the State Dep’t with regard to Benghazi.

paul1149 on October 24, 2013 at 9:27 AM

Being liberal means never having to say: “I’m responsible.”

But beside that truism, there’s another important dynamic at work here. The success of ObamaCare is deeply tied to the perception that it is a success. If people believe that the system is screwed up, they won’t sign on. If it’s a mess than the healthy young people who bother with it.

Since the government is being run by people who have the mentality of teenagers, we could say that Obama NEEDS the “peer pressure” that signing up for ObamaCare is the cool thing to do. Otherwise, he’s looking at death spiral and REALLY massive hikes in premiums just around the time that voters go to the polls next November.

PackerBronco on October 24, 2013 at 9:29 AM

Far-Left House Dem Jared Polis Defects From Obamacare, Will Now Ask For A Waiver For Rich Liberals In His District Because Plans Are Too Expensive…

One of President Obama’s most ardent liberal supporters has defected from ObamaCare.

Rep. Jared Polis, D-Boulder, told a Colorado health policy think tank that ObamaCare premiums will be too expensive for some of the wealthiest addresses in America – ski resorts like Breckenridge and Keystone.

He says he’s asking the feds to let them sit out the president’s national health system.

“We will be encouraging a waiver,” Polis told Health Policy Solutions in a story that ran today. “It will be difficult for Summit County residents to become insured. For the vast majority, it’s too high a price to pay.”

The resorts are in Summit County and Aspen is in a neighboring county, which Polis also represents. He has consistently voted in favor of ObamaCare.

Polis also wrote to Colorado’s insurance commissioner asking why an average 40-year-old mountaintop resident would have to fork over $427.80 a month while counterparts in Denver would pay $296.41 for the same plan.

Resist We Much on October 24, 2013 at 9:35 AM

Someone needs to go to jail over Obamacare…

paulsur on October 24, 2013 at 9:42 AM

fire someone

Bwahahahahahahahahahahaha

ya just gave him 4 more years

what ass clowns

roflmmfao

donabernathy on October 24, 2013 at 9:44 AM

These Obama-hacks jumpstart classic joke to protect Obama.

“I confess. They did it!”

Don L on October 24, 2013 at 9:52 AM

Come 2014, maybe it’s time to FIRE all of the Democrats in Washington.

Now THAT would be “accountability”!

GarandFan on October 24, 2013 at 10:45 AM

It’s the Dem CYA moment.

sadatoni on October 24, 2013 at 11:17 AM

No one is getting fired over this. Was Susan Rice fired? Hillary Clinton? Ugly lady from the IRS? Guy from the CIA who lied to congress? Eric “Fast and Furious” Holder? Nah, this is like Tee ball government. No one gets fired. That would hurt feelings and self esteem. Instead, a promotion hugs the mistake away and makes everyone feel like they could be President.

magicbeans on October 24, 2013 at 11:19 AM

Two House Democrats call for firings over ObamaCare fiasco

Can we start by firing the REBOTUS?

UltimateBob on October 24, 2013 at 11:21 AM

All testified today that their part of the obama’care’ site work well.

Prognosis – good

Patient – dead

Schadenfreude on October 24, 2013 at 12:23 PM

Report back when these House Democrats call for the law to be repealed…

Texas Zombie on October 24, 2013 at 3:03 PM