Pressure Builds for Firings Over Obamacare Woes

Image: Pressure Builds for Firings Over Obamacare Woes

Wednesday, 04 Dec 2013 07:02 AM

By Elliot Jager

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Pressure is building within the Obama administration to fire those responsible for the bungled rollout of the president's signature healthcare plan, according to The New York Times.

President Barack Obama has said he wants to concentrate on fixing the HealthCare.gov website and talking about the benefits of the Affordable Care Act for ordinary Americans, but he also pledged last month to find out how implementation of the plan became so mismanaged.

Administration officials declined to name which officials could lose their jobs, but a number of those involved in the development and launch of Obamacare have publicly been mentioned as possible targets.

They include Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius; Marilyn Tavenner, administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; Mike Hash, director of the Office of Health Reform at the Department of Health and Human Services; and Michelle Snyder, chief operating officer at Medicaid and Medicare.

Other are Henry Chao, chief digital architect responsible for the site; White House healthcare analyst Jeanne Lambrew; David Simas, a White House deputy senior adviser; and Todd Park, the president's top adviser on technology issues.

An unnamed Obama aide told the Times Tuesday, "If something is not working, we will find new people to do it."

A former White House aide said Obama has no difficulty telling anyone he or she no longer is suitable for a job.

Former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told the Times that someone has to go.

"I think it's important, in order to restore the American people's confidence in both healthcare reform and government again, that the president fire the people responsible for this failure," Gibbs said, adding that doing so would "send a clear message to the bureaucracy that failure on this scale is simply unacceptable."

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