Blame me!


WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama’s top health official apologized

on today for the botched roll-out of the government’s health care website,

acknowledging it was a “debacle”, while also blaming insurers for cancelling

coverage for hundreds of thousands of people.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, testifying

at a congressional hearing on the troubled website at the heart of Obama’s

health care overhaul, vowed to win back the confidence of millions of

disappointed Americans.

“Hold me accountable for the debacle. I’m responsible,” Sebelius said

in response to questions from Marsha Blackburn, the Republican US

Representative of Tennessee, about who was responsible for problems that

have prevented people from signing up for health care insurance plans.

Technical glitches have dogged the since its launch

on October 1, preventing many people from signing up for insurance plans.

But critics of Obamacare have seized on the hundreds of thousands of

Americans due to lose their current plans because they fail to include essential

benefits required by the law and are asking whether Obama misrepresented

the law.

Sebelius, the cabinet official spearheading the implementation of the 2010

Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, drew intense criticism

from Republicans, including Fred Upton, chairman of the House Energy and

Commerce Committee. Upton accused Obama of breaking a 2009 promise

that people with insurance could keep their current plans.

“They are now receiving termination notices, and for those who lose the

coverage they like, they may also be losing faith in their government,” the

Michigan Republican said.

Sebelius defended the administration by describing hundreds of thousands

who have received cancellation notices as the victims of a market long

known for discriminating against the sick, cancelling policies and selling

inadequate insurance.

“The individual market . . . anywhere in the country has never had

consumer protections. People are on their own. They can be locked out,

priced out, dumped out,” by insurers, Sebelius said.

Sebelius said Obama had not broken his promise because plans that have

existed since the law was signed have had the option of remaining unchanged.

Democrats on the committee rallied to the administration’s position by

pointing out that insurance policies being cancelled would be replaced by

better plans that meet higher standards under Obamacare.

“I would urge my colleagues to stop hyperventilating,” said Representative

Henry Waxman of California, the committee’s top Democrat.

Sebelius has become a political punching bag for Republicans who have

repeatedly called on her to resign over the flawed roll-out of the website. The

White House continues to support her.

“I am as frustrated and angry as anyone with the flawed launch of,” Sebelius testified. “So let me say directly to these

Americans: You deserve better. I apologize.” (Reuters)

One Response to Blame me!

  1. J.P.
    J.P. October 31, 2013 at 1:03 am

    Such a non issue.


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