Transparency isn’t the only issue that’s dismaying the law’s supporters. Some Democrats are privately irked that Obama, in their eyes, had to bail out HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who’s likely to be grilled mercilessly about the website breakdowns — and the lack of pre-launch testing — the moment House Republicans get her into a hearing room, which is expected next week.

“Given Sebelius’ ineptitude, bringing POTUS center-stage was necessary,” said one prominent Democrat. “And POTUS did an admirable job of explaining, reframing but not defending the mistakes. Still, an army in which a general is bailing out a failed colonel is a losing army…

But if the administration had shared more of the technical information with more health insurers and their IT departments, they could have been warned – or warned more loudly – of some of the operation problems, said Robert Laszewski, a consultant who works with insurers.

“Every one of their IT people have been through this before. They would have said, ‘This isn’t going to work,’” said Laszewski. “Why is it a secret? That’s what’s killing them.”