House Democrats worried by health law rollout woes
WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democrats are worried about persistent problems with the rollout of President Barack Obama’s health care law, his most significant domestic achievement — and one says the president needs to “man up” and fire those responsible.
Democrats facing re-election in 2014 were hoping to run on the law’s new benefits for millions of uninsured Americans. Instead, a litany of computer problems is keeping consumers from signing up and buying insurance on the health care exchanges.
Democratic Rep. Richard Nolan emerged from a Wednesday meeting with administration officials and told reporters the rollout has “damaged the brand” of the health care law.
Nolan said, “The president needs to man up, find out who was responsible, and fire them.” He did not name anyone.
Obama says he’s as frustrated as anyone and has promised a “tech surge” to fix the balky HealthCare.gov website.
The Republican leader of the House, Speaker John Boehner, told reporters that “the whole threat of Obamacare” continues “to hang over our economy like a wet blanket.”
“More Americans are going to lose their health insurance than are going to sign up at these exchanges,” Boehner said.
Obama has turned to longtime adviser Jeffrey Zients to provide management advice to help fix the system. Zients, a former acting director of the Office of Management and Budget and a veteran management consultant, will be on a short-term assignment at the Department of Health and Human Services before he is due to take over as director of Obama’s National Economic Council next year.