The Sebelius legacy: One epic tech failure, millions of newly insured Americans

The Sebelius legacy: One epic tech failure, millions of newly insured Americans

[Ed. – And millions more of newly uninsured Americans, but who’s counting?]

On Thursday morning, Kathleen Sebelius testified before Congress and announced that Obamacare signups had reached 7.5 million people.

On Thursday evening, news broke that Sebelius was stepping down as Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Maybe Sebelius and her supporters hoped that the morning news would put a more positive spin on the evening’s. If so, they were very, very wrong. The first sentence of the New York Times article on her resignation described a “stormy five-year tenure marred by the disastrous rollout of President Obama’s signature legislative achievement, the Affordable Care Act.” Expect more of the same in the coming hours and days.

Sebelius deserves at least some of that treatment. The technological failures of healthcare.gov during October and November—and the failure to anticipate a wave of private plan cancellations—represented low points for the cause of health care reform, liberalism more generally, and the Obama presidency. HHS was in charge of Obamacare implementation and Sebelius was in charge of HHS. In one of her many grueling sessions of congressional testimony, Sebelius said that critics should hold her accountable for those failures. They are now doing that—actually, they’ve been doing that for some time. That opening Times paragraph is what accountability sounds like.

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