You might have thought that the ultimate culpability for the current problems plaguing ObamaCare belong to the administration that sloppily designed, forcefully passed, and hastily implemented the gigantic redistribution project — but you would have been wrong. Ranking Democrat of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the one holding the health care hearing this Thursday, is here to tell you why:
KIRSTEN WELKER: Based on what you know right now, was the president or Secretary Sebelius made aware of those problems before this system was launched?
WAXMAN: I don’t have any information about that, but no one could have possibly known how bad the system would work when it was implemented all across the country for the millions of people that want insurance and have tried to access the website. So if it worked well for a smaller group, turned out it didn’t work well enough for a larger group. That often happens. …
WELKER: Congressman, just very quickly, yes or no, should Secretary Sebelius keep her job?
HENRY WAXMAN: Absolutely. There’s no reason for her not to continue on as secretary. She’s done a terrific job. I have a great deal of confidence in her. She doesn’t know about all technicalities. That was contracted out to the private sector, and the private sector with all the money they got, couldn’t develop the website that we needed. It shouldn’t have been done by government, but we should have had more competent people in the private sector, and if anybody’s head should roll, it should be the contractors who didn’t live up to their contractual responsibility.
Firstly, “no one could have possibly known how bad the system would work,” really? The failures in the beta-testing phase — you know, the one they started in the week before the enrollment period — wasn’t a huge giveaway?
Secondly, if indeed the involved contractors “couldn’t develop the website that we needed” and “didn’t live up to their contractual responsibility,” then in turn, whose fault is that? It couldn’t be… the people who hired those contractors and/or assigned them an impossible task, could it?!
Truly, the gentleman is in dire need of better talking points. He’s likely to get them on the morrow:
Mike Hash, who directs the Office of Health reform at the Department of Health and Human Services, will brief House Democrats Wednesday about implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
The closed-door session, which will start at 8:50 a.m., marks the first time the administration will have briefed members of Congress on the online enrollment system since its troubled rollout on Oct. 1.
The briefing comes as HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius published a blog post detailing some of the efforts the administration is undertaking to fix HealthCare.gov, including bringing on former Office of Management and Budget acting director Jeffrey Zients.