Kathleen Sebelius prepares to face the music on Obamacare (+video)
Dozens of Republican lawmakers have demanded that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius resign over Obamacare glitches. She'll appear before a congressional panel this week, where she's likely to stand her ground.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius – the senior Obama administration official in charge of the Affordable Care Act – gets her time in the barrel this week, appearing before a Republican-led House committee highly skeptical of (if not hostile to) the ACA, also known as "Obamacare."
GOP lawmakers (and some Democrats) demand to know why the rollout of the health-care insurance exchanges has been so rocky, with hundreds of thousands of Americans frustrated by an online sign-up system plagued by computer “glitches” that has been sketchy at best.
"The incompetence in building this website is staggering," Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R) of Tennessee, told "Fox News Sunday." Speaking Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” Sen. John Barrasso (R) of Wyoming called Secretary Sebelius the “laughingstock of America.”
Sebelius is unlikely to be a pushover for House Republicans, some three dozen of whom have demanded that she resign over the Obamacare troubles. Politics is the family business, and she’s had plenty of experience in that rough-and-tumble world.
She was a state representative and then state insurance commissioner before serving as governor of Kansas. Her father had been the governor of Ohio, her husband is a federal magistrate judge, and her father-in-law was a US representative.
As a member of the Roman Catholic Church, she’s been publicly rebuked by senior church officials for her strong pro-choice stance on abortion.
Although Republicans in Congress grumble that she’s taken her own sweet time in getting around to facing their music – particularly since she did find time to sit down with Jon Stewart of “The Daily Show” – Sebelius already has indicated some pushback against what she sees as the highly partisan nature of the issue.
“The majority of people calling for me to resign, I would say, are people who I don't work for and who do not want this program to work in the first place,” Sebelius said this past week.
That is certainly true. It’s also true that Republican calls to “repeal and replace” the ACA – a major theme in Mitt Romney’s failed attempt to deny President Obama a second term – have yet to produce any “replace” proposal for helping millions of uninsured Americans.
Meanwhile, the administration is accentuating the positive – what positive there is.