Dem Senators to President: Replace ACA Website CEO Promptly

Wednesday, 27 Nov 2013 02:00 PM

By Courtney Coren

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A group of seven Democratic senators has written to President Barack Obama urging him to swiftly replace the current manager of HealthCare.gov, Jeffrey Zients, when he leaves the post at the end of the year.

"A project of this size and scope demands the sustained leadership and day-to-day management of a chief executive officer — someone whose sole responsibility would be an unrelenting focus on healthcare.gov and who has experience overseeing large and complex consumer-facing technology projects," the group wrote in the letter, dated  Monday.

According to Fox News, the Democratic lawmakers want the position to be filled until the 2015 open-enrollment period is over.

Zients is leaving to head the National Economic Council beginning in January. He was brought on in late October to help get HealthCare.gov fixed after its disastrous Oct. 1 debut.

"The position should report directly to you and should be empowered with the authority to ensure that healthcare.gov is fixed quickly, completely, and permanently," the seven senators wrote to the president.

The letter acknowledges the problems the law has brought.

"While we cannot go backward and correct mistakes made, we must now work together to fix the law so that it works for all Americans," it says.

"Like you, we want the Affordable Care Act to succeed and for every American to enjoy the health and cost benefits it can provide, but the law's success is inextricably tied to the confidence of the American people. Sustaining the steady management focus that this position has already brought to the project would go a long way toward earning back the trust jeopardized by last month's deeply flawed rollout."

The effort is led by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, and the letter was signed by Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine of Virginia, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Chris Coons of Delaware, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Mark Udall of Colorado.

Shaheen, Warner, Coons, Landrieu, and Udall all face re-election in 2014, and the introduction of Obamacare has affected Democrats' chances nationwide.

Landrieu, Udall, and Shaheen also have introduced legislation in the Senate to correct some of the problems with Obamacare. They are still waiting for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to put their measures up for a vote, Politico reported.

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