Sebelius, you’re not fired!

Sebelius, you’re not fired!

During her testimony before the Senate Finance Committee, [Health and Human Services Secretary] Sebelius admitted that the website is still “not where we need to be.” That is quite an understatement. One government estimate put the number of people registered in the first 24 hours at six. If that seems a joke, it was. In a Saturday Night Live skit, Kate McKinnon played Sebelius and noted, “Millions of Americans are visiting HealthCare.gov, which is great news. Unfortunately, the site was only designed to handle six users at a time.” Still, the Obama administration insists it will not release the current number of actually registered people until the middle of November while admitting that it will below.

However, if history is any judge, Sebelius can take heart. Her job should be secure. Neither crimes nor incompetence seems to meet the standard for termination for federal employment. Take National Intelligence Director James Clapper. In a public hearing before Congress, Clapper denied that the NSA was collecting “any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans.” That was clearly false. Clapper later admitted that he gave “the least untruthful” statement that he could think of. That, of course, would still make it a lie and thus perjury. However, Clapper was neither prosecuted nor fired.

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