POLITICS: PennAve

Jeffrey Zients' move to economic post delayed

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Politics,White House,Health Care,PennAve,Meghashyam Mali,Healthcare.gov,Jeffrey Zients,HHS

Jeffrey Zients, who oversaw the Obama administration’s “tech surge” to repair the troubled healthcare.gov website, will delay his move to become the president’s top economic adviser for a month.

Zients was slated to take over as director of the National Economic Council in January, replacing Gene Sperling. But Sperling will stay on in his post for another month, according to a White House official.

The New York Times reported Tuesday that Sperling will likely remain at the White House until early February to complete a number of projects, including helping President Obama prepare for his State of the Union address. According to the report, Zients also wanted additional time to prep for the transition after two months spent focused on fixing the botched Obamacare online insurance marketplaces.

Zients, a former director of the Office of Management and Budget, was tapped by Obama to repair the problems plaguing healthcare.gov, the website responsible for enrolling consumers in Obamacare.

The White House in December declared that the effort was successful and said that the website was functioning smoothly for most consumers. But insurers say there are unresolved back-end issues which could delay or block many Americans from receiving health coverage.

The administration has said that it will name a successor to take over for Zients and manage the website.

White House correspondent Susan Crabtree contributed to this report.

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