The political war over the fumbled implementation of Obamacare reached a new level Friday when two key GOP leaders suggested that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius either lied or was ignorant about the woes in the system, bragging that it was in tip-top shape and ready for use.
In a letter, Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., also threatened to subpoena Obamacare documents if Sebelius continues to stonewall their investigation.
The letter was revealed in the following release received by Secrets:
Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Ranking Member Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., today announced they have sent a letter demanding Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius provide requested documents related to the major problems with HealthCare.gov by October 28th or face the possibility of a subpoena from the House Oversight Committee.
"Your failure to provide Congress information that would shed additional light on these problems is a troubling indication that you are refusing to hold people accountable for this costly and failed enterprise," the members write to Secretary Sebelius. "While you have refused to provide information to Congress, you have been a frequent guest on numerous news and television comedy programs subsequent to October 1, 2013. It is unacceptable that you are providing information to numerous other outlets, but not to Congress."
"During the months prior to October 1, 2013, the Administration and many HHS officials assured the American people that the health insurance exchanges would be ready to successfully launch on October 1, 2013," the letter continues. "It is clear that you and other high-ranking HHS officials either provided false testimony to Congress or did not know how badly the development of the HealthCare.gov was proceeding. Either scenario, if accurate, is inexcusable and demands accountability from your department."
Paul Bedard, The Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The letter concludes, "If you do not comply with the Committees' requests by 5:00 pm on October 28, 2013, the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will be forced to consider the use of compulsory process."