GOP unearths “please delete e-mail” directive from Obama health official post-launch

posted at 8:01 pm on August 15, 2014 by Mary Katharine Ham

Remember Marilyn Tavenner, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services? She headed the prominent division of Health and Human Services that decided to be general contractor for the building of HealthCare.gov despite having none of the skills to do that successfully, apparently.

So, since the launch, members of Congress have been requesting e-mails pertinent to the very expensive and disastrous launch of Obamacare’s federal exchange website. In requesting e-mails, one might excuse the GOP of being a bit wary of the Obama administration’s ability and willingness to hold on to such things in the wake of a big controversy. Indeed, HHS has already admitted that some of those e-mails are missing. So much sloppy record keeping! An e-mail from Tavenner revealed today suggests they’re right to be wary, and not just because of a record of sloppiness within the administration.

We’ll get to the content of the e-mail in question in one moment, but first let me give you the headline and the lede on this story in The Hill. Emphasis mine.

Headline: “GOP says Obama health official instructed staff to delete email”

Lede: “House Republicans on Friday accused a top Obama administration health official of telling staff to delete an email related to the healthcare law’s rollout last fall.”

And, the content of the e-mail in question, from the same story.
Emphasis mine again.

In a letter to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Administrator Marilyn Tavenner, the Republicans point to an Oct. 5 email from Tavenner to staff about how to handle calls from people applying for ObamaCare.

In the first line of the email, Tavenner writes “please delete this email but see if we can work on call script.”

Republicans in their letter ask why Tavenner wanted the email deleted, and whether she has asked for other emails to be deleted.

“This contradicts … [the claim] that your practice was to instruct subordinates to retain copies of e-mails,” said the lawmakers, including House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy (R-Pa.).

So there’s an e-mail that says “please delete this email,” but the paper is unable to report in its headline or lede anything beyond that the GOP alleges this activity happened. The story has advanced from this Reuters report: “The letter made no reference to any evidence that Tavenner intentionally hid or destroyed the emails” to some evidence that there was intention. Pray, what would be enough evidence to go ahead and make that assertion? One could argue we don’t yet have definitive evidence that the directive was nefarious, though generally deletion of e-mails pertaining to a controversy in the wake of a controversy should be viewed with suspicion. But it is not in dispute that Tavenner sent an e-mail asking people to delete an e-mail. The paper reported on that e-mail in the next paragraph.


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WOW – this is huge. Obviously, there is no doubt that this came directly from obama – it’s too bad that Boehner has taken IMPEACHMENT off the table for good.

Pork-Chop on August 15, 2014 at 8:11 PM

Meh. You could have thousands of Regime hacks, along with DogEater himself, publicly confess tomorrow to child trafficking, rape, murder, et. al. — and what consequences would they face as a result?

Zip.Obama.Nada.

Such is the depth to which my cynicism has now sunk …

ShainS on August 15, 2014 at 8:19 PM

If an Obama administration official murdered a baby seal with a spiked club on live TV, The Hill would headline it:

Innocent baby seal slaughtered by unidentified suspect

And in the second paragraph state they were CHOOSING not to identify the suspect because …. PRIVACY!!!!

PolAgnostic on August 15, 2014 at 8:19 PM

One suspects that reportorial shadings such as this one, already commonplace, will only become more frequent and obvious as the Fire burns closer to Pharaoh.

Sacramento on August 15, 2014 at 8:22 PM

There are not enough polygraph machines in this country to test O and his comrades. CAN WE GET ONE PERSON IN AN ORANGE JUMPSUIT?

hillsoftx on August 15, 2014 at 8:23 PM

If an Obama administration official murdered a baby seal with a spiked club on live TV, The Hill would headline it:

Innocent baby seal slaughtered by unidentified suspect

And in the second paragraph state they were CHOOSING not to identify the suspect because …. PRIVACY!!!!

PolAgnostic on August 15, 2014 at 8:19 PM

Actually, it would be along the lines of:

GOP alleges baby seal slaughtered by Obama administration official; seal asked for it

Steve Eggleston on August 15, 2014 at 8:24 PM

It has been reported that a right leaning blogger who frequents FOX NEWS has accused the Hill.com of using “”GOP says”” in a headline.

KMav on August 15, 2014 at 8:26 PM

It’s about to get a little crowded under the bus.

formwiz on August 15, 2014 at 8:27 PM

Still waiting for an indictment. Of ANYONE! Crickets………..

LeftCoastRight on August 15, 2014 at 8:31 PM

WOW – this is huge. Obviously, there is no doubt that this came directly from obama – it’s too bad that Boehner has taken IMPEACHMENT off the table for good.

Pork-Chop on August 15, 2014 at 8:11 PM

Notice that once Boehner triumphantly proclaimed nobody in the GOP was talking about impeachment and it will never be an option, that narrative immediately went into the FBI’s witness protection program?

Boehner still hasn’t wiped the rosin off his face.

UnstChem on August 15, 2014 at 8:36 PM

Burn all the evidence. Burn it all.

VorDaj on August 15, 2014 at 8:40 PM

So, I have a question. If she had said, “Now, turn around and punch your co-worker in the face,” would that have been evidence of any sort of “intent” or merely a typ-o?

IndieDogg on August 15, 2014 at 8:43 PM

It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no native American criminal class … … except for the democrat party.

VorDaj on August 15, 2014 at 8:43 PM

Hmmm, in this edition, Mary Katharine Ham discovers that the Mainstream Media are utterly and completely dishonest. Kind of like Col Klink discovering that his was the only POW Camp in Germany that wasn’t shoveling Jew’s into ovens 24 hours a day seven days a week. Imagine being Dorothy and discovering that you were no longer in Kansas. Mary Katharine Ham is likewise no doubt shocked to discover that gambling has been going on in the establishment.

oscarwilde on August 15, 2014 at 8:45 PM

Guys, first the car stopped short and she face planted. At least she did not try to bite the tyre.

Come on, all she was just trying to do was clear a few cookies and here you are attacking her for tossing them.

HonestLib on August 15, 2014 at 8:45 PM

Bring here back before congress and see if she takes the 5th. Oh the optics of it all. The most 5th taken administration evah.

Buckshots on August 15, 2014 at 8:46 PM

oscarwilde on August 15, 2014 at 8:45 PM

Bah, it’s not even 1748 your time. Settle down. Chuckle.

HonestLib on August 15, 2014 at 8:48 PM

Mary Katharine Ham is likewise no doubt shocked to discover that gambling has been going on in the establishment.

oscarwilde on August 15, 2014 at 8:45 PM

Gambling, prevaricating, child trafficking, money laundering, human sacrifice … … but who would have ever guessed?

VorDaj on August 15, 2014 at 8:49 PM

CAN WE GET ONE PERSON IN AN ORANGE JUMPSUIT?

hillsoftx on August 15, 2014 at 8:23 PM

One? Just one? Well, then, if that’s all we’re willing to settle for, then let it be The Won.

HiJack on August 15, 2014 at 9:05 PM

Just what will a smoking gun look like?

Telling people to delete email is innocent of course… everyone does it daily right?

OH my heck!

Perry indicted, for trying to keep Texas honest, Democrat cover ups galore… what country is this?

Where did America go?

petunia on August 15, 2014 at 9:10 PM

If Obama had Bush’s press, not only would he not have been re-elected, he’d have been indicted.

bflat879 on August 15, 2014 at 9:13 PM

No sane person thinks impeachment of the first black President is going to win any elections in the future.

Anyone calling for impeachment is trying to destroy this country for good, handing all power to the socialist forever.

They own the media! The media tells people who the bad guys are. Why can’t you get it?

You live in an America where there is justice. That America does not exist anymore!!!!

Look at the real world!!! Rick Perry just got indicted because he tried to clean up the “integrity” of Texas!!!!!

This is the rabbit hole. Boehner and the rest are just trying to stay a step ahead of the queen of hearts yelling “off with their heads”!!!!!

And you aren’t helping.

petunia on August 15, 2014 at 9:14 PM

If we had an honest attorney general, nearly everyone in the Obama Regime would be in prison by now.

ConstantineXI on August 15, 2014 at 9:34 PM

Reverence to suspicion. Then suspicion to apathy. Then apathy to distrust. Finally, distrust to contempt.

So is the way that Dems attack GOP.

Washington Fancy on August 15, 2014 at 10:01 PM

If they can nurture complacency, apathy, they can steal wealth without your knowledge or objection.

Washington Fancy on August 15, 2014 at 10:01 PM

The Hill is as Democrat as the ComPost.

devan95 on August 16, 2014 at 2:25 AM

Kind of like Col Klink discovering that his was the only POW Camp in Germany that wasn’t shoveling Jew’s into ovens 24 hours a day seven days a week.

oscarwilde on August 15, 2014 at 8:45 PM

POW camps were used to hold POW’s, you know, Prisoners Of War. The Jews were being shoveled into ovens in Concentration Camps. Big difference. But, you knew that didn’t you?

You were just trying to be edgy, right?

PakviRoti on August 16, 2014 at 7:58 AM

GOP unearths “please delete e-mail” directive from Obama health official post-launch

“High crimes and misdemeanors”

Makes Watergate look like a shoplifting incident in a local Wal-Mart.

Dr. ZhivBlago on August 16, 2014 at 10:01 AM

God she’s ugly, the wench in question, Tavenner. Not unusual in leftist women, maybe it’s all about revenge?

arand on August 16, 2014 at 11:02 AM

If nothing else this serves to put the Rick Perry/Rosemary Lehmberg story in high relief.

Knott Buyinit on August 16, 2014 at 1:27 PM