Outgoing health czar Kathleen Sebelius said she doesn’t have any regrets about her tenure, despite the disastrous rollout of the Affordable Care Act health exchange website last fall. But Sebelius did seem to allow that she made mistakes in the lead-up to the site’s launch.
Sebelius, who this week announced she’d be stepping down as Secretary of Health and Human Services, was asked by NBC’s Andrea Mitchell whether she had any regrets.
“I don’t,” Sebelius replied, in a clip that aired Sunday on Meet the Press. “If I had a magic wand and could go back to mid-September, based on what I know now – I thought I was getting the best information from the best experts, having outside and inside people come report, look, measure. But clearly that didn’t go well.”
Millions of people were prevented from enrolling in Obamacare last fall, thanks to technical problems with the website that was supposed to be used to apply for the law’s benefits. That led to weeks of negative press coverage about the law’s rollout, and has helped put Democrats in a hole going into this fall’s midterms. It took an intense White House effort, involving a team of high-level Silicon Valley experts, to get the site working properly.
The announcement of Sebelius’s departure came just a week after the administration said that, despite the serious early problems with the website, over 7 million people had signed up for Obamacare through the federal exchanges—meaning the law had met its target for enrollees by this point.
But that reality doesn’t appear to have ended the all-out effort by Republicans to undo or stymie the law.
“I think what you’re going to see is a continue to repeal it and replace it,” Rep. Marsha Blackburn, a Tennessee Republican and leading Obamacare critic, said Sunday on CBS’s Face the Nation. “Now we know we’re not going to get it off the books until this president is out of office.”
Rep. Elijah Cummings also appeared on Face the Nation Sunday, where he said that he’s known many people who have benefited from the Affordable Care Act. “We have got to look at the good things, and we’ve got to go out there and make it clear that it’s something good for America,” he said.