Senator John Thune says the troubled rollout of the federal health insurance website is a symptom of a White House health care policy that's been flawed from the very beginning. Thune is calling for a one-year delay in the health care enrollment for everyone so problems with the Affordable Care Act can be worked out. But he's withholding judgment, for now, on whether the cabinet secretary in charge of getting the program up and running should lose her job.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius went before a House committee to apologize for the rocky rollout of healthcare.gov.
"So let me say directly to these Americans, you deserve better. I apologize. I'm accountable to you for fixing these problems," HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said.
Thune says he appreciates Sebelius owning up to what he calls a "disastrous" website rollout. But Thune says the White House needs to be up front about when the problems first came to light.
"And why didn't they do some of the troubleshooting that could typically be done and why did they bring the experts in? This is not that complicated," Thune said.
Democrats say Republicans are more interesting in scoring political points by bashing the Affordable Care Act than offering solutions to fix it. But Thune says problems with the law are self-inflicted.
"Democrats are accusing Republicans of trying to undermine this. Look, we don't have to do anything to undermine it. The very nature and substance of this legislation itself is undermining itself real well right now," Thune said.
Thune will question Sebelius when she testifies before the Senate Finance Committee next week. Thune says that's when he'll decide whether or not to call for Sebelius' resignation.
"We've got to have some accountability here and if that means they've got to let somebody go, then, so be it," Thune said.
Sebelius says the website problems should be fixed by November 30. Thune says he hopes the website will be ready by then, but he thinks the fixes will take longer.