Sebelius's Obamacare Tech Nightmare

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius appeared before the House Energy and Commerce Committee October 30 to answer questions about the Obamacare rollout that is beset with problems and about promises made that now appear to be invalid.

The implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), which is known informally as Obamacare, has seen a litany of epic failures and the violation of guarantees made by Democrats and President Barack Obama. These failures include technological problems which have prevented people from enrolling in insurance plans via the website designed for this purpose. There are also concerns about security breaches of the website. There were promises, emphatically made by Obama, that Americans can continue to keep their current insurance if they choose to do so - that have been revealed to be untrue. There were guarantees by Obama and other Democrats, stated prior to the enactment of the ACA, that there would be no increases in taxes to fund it - but this too turned out to be untrue.

All of which causes the American public to question the credibility of the Obama administration. These credibility issues have been magnified by contradictory statements by the contractors who were involved in developing the website and the HHS; by Sebelius's inability to answer questions about the ACA posed by comedian Jon Stewart when she appeared on his political satire television show; and by various inconsistent statements by administrations officials and spokespeople.

During her testimony Wednesday, Sebelius held herself accountable for the website failures - although, notably, without any consequences. But as the questioning began, it was plain that the committee was divided along partisan lines.

One Democrat, Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA), after skewering Republicans, tried to learn if the contractors would receive any penalty for the website failure. Sebelius said they would not be paid for substandard work.