Bill Daley, the former White House chief of staff under President Barack Obama, called the rollout of the Affordable Care Act “a big embarrassment.” He also loosely compared Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius to the captain of the Titanic.
“The president has looked forward to the rollout of Obamacare, and it hasn’t gone as well obviously as he expected or demanded. So it’s a big embarrassment,” Daley said on CBS’ “This Morning.”
“It will be corrected. It will take time. I think you’ll see the hearings today and next week to some degree turn into the typical sort of political sideshow, but the real question is what happened here, and how did a program that’s so vital to the country get screwed up this way at the beginning?”
The House Energy and Commerce Committee is holding a hearing Thursday morning on the rollout of the health-care law and its glitchy website. E
Executives of CGI Federal, which designed the federal HealthCare.gov website that serves 36 states, and QSSI — which created the features that verify applicants’ income — are testifying Thursday before the committee.
Daley was asked if he thinks Sebelius should be “held accountable” for the disastrous rollout so far.
“Some people are calling for her to be fired. To me, that’s kind of like firing Captain Smith on the Titanic after it hit the iceberg — it’s not going to do much right now,” Daley said.
“I think they’ve got to get it fixed, I think they’ve got to get it straightened out, and then there’s the question obviously whether there needs to be new leadership at that department, not only with the secretary but other things going forward. I think she’s in a tough situation right now, but the bottom line is they’ve got to get this working.”
Here’s the clip:
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