Kathleen Sebelius is in the hot seat amid rising angst over the administration’s implementation of ObamaCare.
The Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary is implementing the biggest change to the nation’s healthcare system in decades, and the stakes couldn’t be higher.
ObamaCare will be a top issue for voters, if not the top issue, in the 2014 election. President Obama is aiming to help Democrats retain the Senate and win back the House for his last two years in office. If ObamaCare stumbles badly next year, Republicans could control both chambers of Congress in 2015.
ObamaCare has always been controversial, routinely blasted by the GOP. But now, Sebelius is taking some friendly fire.
A liberal lawmaker who requested anonymity said, “She’s been terribly defensive, terribly slow to react.”
“There have been many conversations among progressives about this. We want a personality that acts to confront any glitches immediately — more of a nose-to-the-grindstone manager.
“If there is any more defensiveness as we’re implementing, it will be a huge issue in 2014.”
Many Democrats, however, came to Sebelius’s defense. Others blamed the White House.
“If the president can’t sell [the law] to the country, so be it,” said a Democratic lawmaker. “She has done a workman-like job. She has moved it forward.”
“She has solved problem after problem in a very tough environment,” said another Democrat who emphasized Sebelius was “handpicked” for the job. “She has made sure the department implemented the healthcare law successfully even given the very limited funds provided by Congress.”
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