HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius steps forward to prove, once again, that she has no business running a popsicle stand, let alone the largest and most powerful bureaucracy on Earth. From the Dallas Morning News, whose editorial insertion makes it clear they’re as stunned as you are, dear reader:
“Would more testing have helped? You bet,” Sebelius said after touring an east Austin health clinic. “On the other hand, we will get the site up and running.”
Sebelius, glossing over the fact that her department had 3 1/2 years to get ready, said the Affordable Care Act “said it’s ‘go time’ on Oct. 1″ for the exchanges where many Americans can get subsidies to buy private policies.”
“And frankly, [there was] a political atmosphere where the majority party, at least in the House, was determined to stop this any way they possibly can, including shutting down the United States government,” she told reporters. “So it was not an ideal atmosphere.”
Sebelius, who later visited San Antonio, didn’t discuss her department’s now-criticized decision not to let online visitors shop around before creating accounts. Aides have said they wanted consumers to avoid experiencing “sticker shock,” which could happen if they just looked at premium quotes and didn’t factor in the subsidies for which they might qualify.
Unbelievable. The government shutdown that started the same time ObamaCare launched somehow created an “atmosphere” that wiped out three and a half years of work – and sheer incompetence from Sebelius, Barack Obama, and everyone else associated with this nightmare? That’s not just political spin – it’s dangerously close to mental illness.
But Sebelius is blissfully unconcerned with the critique of her performance, because as she explained the other day, “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.” She sees herself as a part of King Barack I’s royal court, answerable to no one but His Majesty. And she’s probably noticed His Majesty never, ever accepts responsibility for anything, or expects anyone in his royal court to do so.
The most important thing to come out of the hearings into ObamaCare thus far is that everyone knew it would be a disaster when it launched. Warnings were issued from every quarter. Every contractor involved in the project said “no-go” to Sebelius and her crew. But they launched it anyway. They could not have cared less about the staggering imposition to American citizens, which now includes both millions of man-hours lost and millions of people without health insurance, to go along with the $400 to $600 million HHS wasted on their hacktastic web system.
None of which comes should come as a surprise to anyone familiar with the performance of the inept Canadian company hired to produce the system, which has not only been fired for bungling health care projects, but has previously produced hundred-million-dollar disasters with the exact same problems as Healthcare.gov. But either Sebelius and her crack staff were unaware of this history before they handed a bag of taxpayer loot to these guys, or they just didn’t care.
And they don’t even want to discuss the entirely political imperatives that led them to strip out the window-shopping system, because they didn’t dare let the American people get a close look at those astronomical premiums before some subsidy sauce could be ladled on top. Nobody getting hosed by ObamaCare should feel good about the subsidies, which are coming out of every taxpayer’s hide. And we all know they’re going to turn into an even worse festival of fraud than the Earned Income Tax Credit, which is currently throwing close to $14 billion a year at scam artists who don’t qualify for the handouts they’re receiving. Most of the fraud protection for ObamaCare was thrown overboard in the mad rush to launch on schedule… producing a twitching mass of diseased code nobody can use anyway.
Every day Kathleen Sebelius continues as HHS Secretary is nothing less than an insult to the American people. She needs to be facing stern questions, maybe even criminal charges, for her negligence, not going on tours to blow smoke about how everything was going great until those wascally Wepubwicans shut down the government.