Republican lawmakers emphasized the need for Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to testify before Congress and explain the various technological glitches in the rollout of the new health care legislation, on Sunday.
“I think she’ll have to testify. I don’t think she can refuse to answer questions about this and trying to defend that I have time to go to a gala in Boston, but I don’t have the time to appear before the Congress because I’m so busy trying to make this system work, this doesn’t make sense and people know that,” said Sen. Roy Blunt (R., Mo.).
“When you can’t even put together the package to sign up,” Blunt added during his appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” “that shows how big a job it is … for the federal government to manage 16 percent of the economy and people’s health insurance plan is not where the federal government should be.”
Republicans requested Sebelius testify before a House sub-committee on Oct. 24, but HHS said she is unavailable on that date.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fl.) told “Fox News Sunday” that Sebelius’ “refusal to testify and be transparent” about the details and errors within the rollout was “undermining her credibility.”
“We just heard news overnight that 500,000 approximately people have somehow gone on the website and left some information. That tells us no information as far as how many people have actually enrolled and that is a very relevant matter. Because if enough people don’t sign up for these exchanges, the rates on these exchanges are going to be astronomical and they’re going to undermine the entire private health insurance industry.”
Rubio continued, “there may come a point now, perhaps we’re not there today, but there may come a point where she will have to resign. Largely because she no longer has the credibility to do the job.”
The RNC and some lawmakers have begun to call on Sebelius to step down from her position.
“I think that may become an option,” Rubio said. “I’m not a big fan of those immediate calls for people to resign, but I think in this case, actions like the one you just outlined are going to make it harder and harder for her to do her job effectively.”
Sunday morning, an administration official announced that close to half a million individuals submitted online applications to receive insurance through the Affordable Care Act. At least 7 million people were expected to sign up for insurance through the online exchanges, which are open from October 1 and March 31.