Healthcare


Paul Ryan Calls for Secretary Sebelius's Resignation - Firestorm of Criticism Growing

by Patrick Riley 23 Oct 2013
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Kathleen Sebelius, who is President Obama's Secretary for Health and Human Services (HHS) and point person for transforming healthcare in America by implementing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is under fire as never before. The pivotal element of implementation for ACA was to be the launch of an online portal where the uninsured to shop for health insurance, compare benefits and prices, and then learn if they qualify for federal subsidies to help pay for access to healthcare. All of this was to unfold on October 1, 2013, or 3 weeks ago.

Unfortunately, Secretary Sebelius for the past year has been selling and promoting health insurance exchanges and creation of the feds data-hub which was established to verify online applicants income, citizenship, and check to see if potential enrollees qualified for Medicare or Medicaid. Her office oversaw procurement actions to solicit and secure 55 government contractors to build the Website and data-hub, including the complex and demanding eligibility and enrollment functions. The monies committed were close to $500 million. What did not happen was engagement of a project management or health IT oversight contractor to ensure all other contractors were on schedule, on budget, and were performing as intended, including, performance and functionality testing and troubleshooting. Even retrospectively now, the government contractors engaged fully expected someone in the industry like Oracle or Microsoft would eventually be named to coordinate and oversee production and connectivity as well as testing. To everyone's surprise, this last chapter of a Dicken's novel, with many complex characters and sub-plots never happened. Instead, Sebelius appointed her sister government agency, Marilyn Tavenner's Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to manage this massive, never been attempted before, complex health IT challenge. CMS did not have and still does not possess the talent, experience, nor intellectual where with all, to get the job done.

All of this faillure has landed at the feet of Secretary Sebelius like a FedEx package from Ghana with an E-Boli contagion. The feds site still is not functioning, Americans are losing interest and confidence in the government's ability to solve the many still remaining problems. But, that is not really what the true issue is. Sebelius is refusing to release any information or data on performance of healthcare.gov which begs the question, can the feds even find where to look for the data resides and will it be valid?

To make matters worse, Sebelius guaranteed in July, under oath, before Congress that come October 1st, "We will be ready." This coming week, I am sure opponents will remind her of that promise when she appears before Congress to explain for the first time, what exactly happened and what the plan is to comprehensively fix it.

Meanwhile, a growing number of Republicans and now some Democrats are quitely suggesting, strongly, she should step down, a euphenism for resigning. Much is at stake, and no one knows this better than Kathleen Sebelius. The coming 10 days may define her destiny and political career.

You can follow me on Twitter @Patrick_FrostHC.

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Comments (1)

By  klara andrian
klara, klara

15 Jun 2017 04:35
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