Kathleen Sebelius is to the Obamacare rollout what Federal Emergency Management Agency director Michael Brown was to the Hurricane Katrina response. She’s not saddled with a notoriously mockable vote of confidence from her boss (“heckuva job, Brownie”), but Brown was gone two weeks after the storm, whereas Sebelius looks ensconced for the grim duration of the effort to right Healthcare.gov.
In a more rational world, she would resign or be forced out. Instead, she’s the spokesperson for fixing the technological disaster that occurred on her watch. Sebelius told CNN’s Sanjay Gupta that HHS has “asked the contractors to bring their A team to the table.” Apparently it spent several hundred million dollars on what she now considers the B or C team.
It wasn’t that Sebelius should have known that the website wouldn’t work; she knew it wouldn’t work, at least if a test done days before it launched was any indication. According to the Washington Post, the website was crashed by a few hundred users during the test. Insurers urged that the national rollout be delayed, but all other considerations fell before the imperative to get underway on October 1.
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