Bachmann: Health Secretary Sebelius should be fired


Rep. Michele Bachmann has joined a group of 32 U.S. House Republicans calling on President Obama to fire his Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, because of technical problems with Obamacare websites. They call the debut of the new online health care marketplace a "fiasco."

"The scope of the problem is so great that, were this a private company or military command, the CEO or general would have been fired," the GOP lawmakers write in a letter to the president.

White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough signaled this week that Sebelius' job was safe. “She has the president’s confidence,” he told the New York Times. “And she knows that.”

Most of the signees of the letter are Tea Party-affiliated House members, the Washington Post notes.

Bachmann is among numerous Republicans in Congress who generally object to the Affordable Care Act and have sought its repeal.

"The disastrous Healthcare.gov website is actually a symptom of a larger disease known as government-run health care," Bachmann wrote in a column Thursday in National Journal.

At issue was the HealthCare.gov website that launched Oct. 1 in many states as the nation's new health insurance marketplace, which was a cornerstone of the Affordable Care Act. (Some states run their own online exchanges, including MNsure in Minnesota.)

The site has been plagued by a series of glitches, prompting Obama to vow better performance and call in more technology experts.

"Nobody is madder than me that the website isn't working as it should — which means that it's going to get fixed," the president said earlier this week.

Among those critical of the website's debut is Rep. Rick Nolan, D-Minn., who told MPR News that "heads should roll."

In four hours of hearings in Congress on Thursday, contractors who worked on the website blamed the government, saying there was a lack of testing on the HealthCare.gov website before its launch, despite a lot of last-minute changes, CNN reports.

Minnesota lawmakers have sharply disagreed along party lines over the success of Minnesota's MNsure site.

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Anniversary of health care reform law brings appeals from supporters, critics

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will be in the Twin Cities on the two-year anniversary of the landmark health care legislation. Sebelius will highlight insurance policies that she says discriminate against women. Meanwhile, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann is using the law's anniversary in a fundraising appeal built around her goal of repealing it.