What does HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius have to say about the debacle of open enrollment for Obamacare commencing October 1? Her tour touting open enrollment has featured the disastrous performance of the $500 million Healthcare.gov Web site that is the keystone of open enrollment. In an article behind its jealously guarded subscription paywall, the Wall Street Journal reports:
Mrs. Sebelius, the nation’s top health official, was in Tampa the other day to promote the “online shopping experience” of the federal website where uninsured Americans can now select coverage. Christopher Dawson, who sat to her left at the staged event, had tried for a week to enroll. Like others, he was foiled by “error” messages.
“I felt like she was trying to make it seem better than it is,” the 20-year-old University of South Florida senior said afterward.
The website failed Mrs. Sebelius, the Health and Human Services secretary, during her appearance to tout it last week in Pittsburgh. Uninsured residents, including 41-year-old LaKesha Lowry, tried to sign up on laptops brought in for the special event. But the system was down, Ms. Lowry said, with instructions to “Try again later.”
As the chief advocate for the Affordable Care Act, Secretary Sebelius is scrambling behind the scenes to address the website’s technical failures. With anger growing over the inability of consumers across the U.S. to access the new online marketplace, Mrs. Sebelius has become the target of late-night spoofs and calls for her resignation.
“It’s tough to take these shots,” said Secretary Sebelius, who made clear in an interview she wouldn’t resign. “But I will take them until we get this right.” She and other officials say the site is making progress.
She added that the site needed five years of construction and a year of testing, but “[w]e had two years and almost no testing.”
You mean you needed more time? You mean it might benefit from delay? You mean the assurances you repeatedly provided to Congress and others (video below) were false? This might be one reason the voluble Mrs. Sebelius has clammed up.