Top Republican Senators Urge Obama to Fire Sebelius

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Thursday, 07 Nov 2013 05:51 PM

By Drew MacKenzie

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Ten Republican senators have written to President Barack Obama asking him to fire Health and Human Service Secretary Kathleen Sebelius for the failure of the Obamacare website.

The senators, including Ted Cruz of Texas and Kentucky's Rand Paul, say in a letter to Obama that HealthCare.Gov has had a "profound, systemic, and undeniable" breakdown, the Washington Times reports.

"We write today to formally request that you immediately relieve Secretary [Kathleen] Sebelius of her duties as Secretary of Health and Human Services," the letter reads, which was organized by Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas.

They criticize Sebelius for not heeding warnings that the federal website, which is meant to help residents in 36 states to sign up for healthcare insurance plans, was not ready to launch on Oct.1.

The botched site has crashed several times since its debut, and the senators say that Sebelius "had misled the public by claiming the issues were the result of high volume," The Hill reports.

The letter adds that early signs of trouble on the site were diagnosed and ignored.

"When you have good management and you have clear accountability, you usually get something done right," said Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, who has previously called on Sebelius to resign. "In the rollout of this healthcare law, we have had neither. While assurances have been made that solutions are forthcoming, we have little confidence that immediate resolution is imminent."

The senators pointed out millions of Americans are unable to go over their options on the troubled website while at the same time they are losing their healthcare plans by not meeting the minimum-coverage classifications under the Affordable Care Act.

"These people could be left without any insurance at all if the exchange systems are not working soon," they wrote. The letter also declared that there's no guarantee that the "same failed leadership" would be able to fix the $400 million site.

Obama has claimed that the website should be up and running properly by the end of the month. "We anticipate that it is going to be working the way it is supposed to," he said.

Senators who authored the letter also include John Cornyn of Texas, Mike Enzi and John Barrasso, both of Wyoming, Idaho's James Risch, Mark Kirk of Illinois, and James Inhofe of Oklahoma.

Related article:
Nervous Democrats Urge Obamacare Overhaul, Delay With Eye on 2014

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