Embattled Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius is all set to testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday. In her testimony, she is expected to blame private contractors for Obamacare health insurance exchange website failures, despite new reports that HHS knew at least a month in advance of launch that there were significant technical shortcomings with the website. Sebelius has also blamed regulations for forcing her to launch the website on October 1, despite the fact that her own department controlled the date of launch.
The launch of Healthcare.gov has been disastrous for the administration, provoking the ire of Republicans and the mockery of comedians. Even the liberal Daily Show, hosted by Jon Stewart, tore into Sebelius for the failures of the website, with Stewart offering to download every movie every made on his laptop before Sebelius could complete an application for health insurance. Sebelius says that the launch was “rockier than we would have liked,” and adds, “I think it’s fair to say that nobody is more frustrated by that than I am.”
In a desperate attempt to shift attention away from both Sebelius’ testimony and new revelations that the Obama administration knew years ago that millions would lose their current insurance plans under Obamacare, President Obama has scheduled a speech at Boston’s Faneuil Hall, the same place that former Governor Mitt Romney signed that state’s health insurance overhaul, and a historic political setting. His topic: “”the importance of providing all Americans with quality, affordable health insurance and the experience in Massachusetts, which passed its bipartisan healthcare law in 2006.” White House spokesman Josh Earnest says that the White House hopes that it will see similar pickup in enrollments into the Obamacare exchanges to Massachusetts: “When they began their open enrollment period, a grand total of 123 people signed up during the first month of open enrollment in Massachusetts.”
In other words, while Sebelius faces Republican grilling, Obama will complain that Republicans wouldn’t work with him on his failing Obamacare plan. President Obama’s White House has said that he has faith in Sebelius and will not consider asking for a resignation.
Obama is also rumored to be scheduling a surprise visit to Game 6 of the World Series between the Boston Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals at Fenway Park, an obvious political move designed to suggest popularity even as Obama’s personal popularity sinks in the polls.
Ben Shapiro is Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the New York Times bestseller “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America” (Threshold Editions, January 8, 2013). He is also Editor-in-Chief of TruthRevolt.org. Follow Ben Shapiro on Twitter @benshapiro.