Sebelius, who resigned in April following the botched roll out of President Barack Obama’s signature health law, said that current issues involving the Affordable Care Act have to do with its commonly used name.
“Obamacare, no question, has a very bad brand that has been driven intentionally by a lot of misinformation and a lot of paid advertising,” Sebelius said.
Obamacare didn’t fail because people said mean things about it. People said mean things about it because Obamamcare failed. I will acknowledge that people were saying bad things about Obamacare before it failed, but that doesn’t mean that we caused it to fail. It means that we were very smart people who could see the train wreck coming long before the train wreck actually occurred.
I’m sorry (actually: no, I’m not) that Kathleen Sebelius wrecked her political career and reputation for the sake of a pathetically bad health care rationing system. She should take some comfort (actually, I don’t care if she does or not) in knowing that she’s not exactly the only person in this position: many a Democrat has been blighted by this mad obsession with validating Hillarycare after the fact.
…What? I thought that the Democrats wanted to force a name change. Fine. We’ll go back into history to find one, then.
Alternate title: Kathleen Sebelius must accept that her career is dust in the wind.
It’s in the New York Times and everything. Of course, even the New York Times can’t ignore basic reality:
Even if Ms. Sebelius had not presided over the Department of Health and Human Services at a time of turmoil and self-inflicted distress — and while carrying out a law that inspires such anger on the right — her candidacy would be a tough sell in Kansas. Democrats have not held a Senate seat in the state since 1939. And even before the president’s popularity started to take a steep slide last year, he fared especially poorly in Kansas, winning only 38 percent of the vote there in 2012.
The Old Gray Lady did her level best to try to run some volts through the chest of this possible scenario – which, if it came to pass, would absolutely ensure Republican turnout in Kansas in November* – but the Times’ heart wasn’t in it, and left unsaid was the political reality that the GOP is looking for a good, solid political excuse to turn Sebelius replacement Sylvia Mathews Burwell’s confirmation hearings into a furball. That would embarrass Barack Obama… and no Democrat may embarrass Barack Obama. Certainly no female Democrat may. Only Obama’s feelings are worthy of consideration these days, it seems.
So, Kathleen Sebelius should pretty much face facts: she sacrificed her career and her reputation to the dubious glory of Barack Obama. Time for her to accept her destiny as just another K Street lobbyist…
PS: Yup, been wanting to use that line for a while.
*Unfortunately, Kansas is such a hardcore Republican state already that we couldn’t use it to toss out Democrats on the federal and/or statewide level; I’m not sure if there are any. And we’re already at super-majority levels in the state legislature anyway.
We are pretty much at the “marvelous cynicism” part of the Obama era arc at this point: the punditocracy has stopped taking the President seriously and has started to visibly not care if he likes the way that they talk about him. I mention this, not because Charles Krauthammer has ever been shy about knocking a Democrat, but because he is increasingly losing his status as a voice in the wilderness in that regard. Expect more people to be this casually dismissive in the future:
Can’t say that I have a much more complex opinion than It’s about time. The woman was horrible at her job. I just wish that she had been more of a patriot and resigned in 2009, instead of staying to fight for Obamacare.
Brian Kelsey, a Republican state senator from Tennessee, wanted to get his opposition to the Affordable Care Act across in a creative way when he heard Kathleen Sebelius would be visiting a Memphis library in his district on Friday to talk up the legislation.
Before Sebelius’ arrival, Kelsey’s office issued a press release announcing he’d show up at the library “in protest of the visit,” though offering no details. He had something more specific in mind, though – presenting Sebelius with a copy of the book “Websites for Dummies,” a jab at the problem-plagued launch of the government’s new health insurance website.
“I’ve been the most outspoken opponent of Obamacare Medicaid expansion in Tennessee,” Kelsey said afterwards. “When I read Secretary Sebelius was coming to my district, I wanted to convey to her that Tennesseans (don’t) want her designing an expansion program for us. I had only two seconds to convey that message to her, so I thought the book would be a creative way to ensure she remembered the message.”
The [exquisitely painful Senate] hearing [for HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius] came on the same day that the Obama administration announced that the chief information officer at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, whose office supervised the creation of the troubled federal website, was retiring.
The official, Tony Trenkle, will step down on Nov. 15 “to take a position in the private sector,” said an email message circulated among agency employees.
As the agency’s top information officer, Mr. Trenkle supervised the spending of $2 billion a year on information technology products and services, including development of HealthCare.gov, the website for the new health insurance marketplace.
The NRCC went ahead and created a useful list called the “7 Most Ridiculous Things Kathleen Sebelius Said At Today’s Hearing:” there were more than seven, of course, but these were particularly… well, ‘good’ is not really the right term, eh? Anyway, this one’s my favorite:
2. “The website never crashed.”
“We were anxious to get the website up and running and functional, which we clearly have failed to do to date, although I would suggest the website has never crashed,” Secretary Sebelius testified about HealthCare.gov.