I remember watching “The Three Stooges” as a kid and thinking what clever buffoons those guys were. They made me laugh. On National television this week, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius did her own impression of “The Three Stooges,” but it didn’t make me laugh at all.
Incredibly, according to Kathleen Sebelius, President Obama was never informed of the massive problems plaguing the HealthCare.gov website.
Secretary Sebelius made the statement on CNN Tuesday. Many in Washington are finding it hard (or impossible) to believe that the president’s signature legislation in his last five years was falling apart and he knew nothing about it.
Speaking with a clearly incredulous Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s chief medical correspondent, she made it clear that the problems facing the Obamacare website were not conveyed to the president. That means they told him nothing at all since the law’s passage in April, 2010 – and he never asked?
There are many in Congress who feel Sebelius is over her head and not capable of running such a massive operation for the government. She told Gupta during their White House interview that the president “only became aware of the problems only a few days after the website’s launch.”
The interview itself was aired Tuesday night on “Anderson Cooper 360.”
The HealthCare.gov website was apparently first tested less than one week before going national to millions of Americans. It crashed even when only a few hundred people were attempting to log on.
Even though the White House expected that over 70 million Americans would use the site to sign up for health insurance, high tech professionals say it may take months to rectify the problems.
Having health insurance is legally required in less than three months.
Sebelius said during the interview with Sanjay Gupta, that “the A-team” would be called in to fix the problems which include multifaceted problems. Gupta asked the logical follow-up questions of why “the A-team” wasn’t sent in months or years ago.
The secretary’s answer? – “I can’t tell you why. We had hoped that they had their A-team on the table, but I am talking with CEOs and urging them to make sure that we have the talent available.”
Gupta asked Sebelius the obvious question of whether she should resign over the monumental blunders.
She never addressed the question. Instead she said, “This is the most important work I’ve ever done in my life, delivering on an historic act, making sure that we have health security for the millions of Americans. I think my job is to get this fully implemented and to get the website working right. I work at the pleasure of the president.”
Showing how out-of-touch she is with anything to do with IT projects, she repeatedly said “if we had a 5-year period of time.” If a private business took five years to build a website, it would be out of business, but to governments, a five year year project is “normal.”
I can just hear Curly, Larry and Mo “nyuk nyuk nyuking” right now – and they may have even built a better system than we got for more than $500 million.