U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy thinks the White House may have rushed the troubled Affordable Care Act to launch on Oct. 1 in a bid to upstage skeptical Republicans — a move that has completely backfired.
"[Health and Human Services Secretary] Kathleen Sebelius . . . blamed this abysmal rollout on a law that required her to go on Oct. 1, and she said, I wish we had done more testing. Well, Madame Sebelius, there is no law that required you to go on Oct. 1," Gowdy, a South Carolina Republican, told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
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"That was a political decision that you made to do it, because heaven knows that you did not want to concede that the Republicans were right that maybe we might want to delay this a little bit," Gowdy said Wednesday.
"So, she picked that date and they sacrificed security, they certainly sacrificed volume so they could meet this arbitrary date. They put politics over the best interests of the people, and now they're reaping the results of that."
Gowdy, who is on the House Oversight Committee, which has been conducting hearings on the ongoing woes surrounding the HealthCare.gov website, said he wants to personally grill Sebelius on several points.
"[I'd ask her], why did you launch on October the first when the entire world knows you weren't ready? Why did you launch when there were security warnings telling you not to launch? What did we get for the first $600 million? How much more are we going to have to spend?" Gowdy said.
On Wednesday, it was revealed that the website will not be ready for everybody to use on Nov. 30, the target date for its relaunch.
"If you can get it fixed by Nov. 30, which would be what, two months after it launched, why didn't you get it fixed for the 30 months prior to its launch?" Gowdy asked.
"If you can really fix this in two months, why are you having to fix it? . . . For over a half a billion dollars, we just deserved a little bit of product than what we saw on Oct. 1."
"My guess is there'll be more people watching the South Carolina-Florida football game on Saturday in the stadium than have enrolled [in the Affordable Care Act]."
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