On Friday during an interview on Fox News Channel, a visibly angry House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., announced that he and the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee's ranking GOP member Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., sent yet another letter demanding Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius submit requested documents regarding the major problems with HealthCare.gov by Oct. 28, 2013, or she is facing a possible 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 committee members stated in their letter to Secretary Sebelius.
During one of her appearances to sell the Affordable Care Act to Americans, a reporter asked Secretary Sebelius how she felt about people demanding her resignation. Sebelius said that she "doesn't work for them."
"The majority of people calling for me to resign... are people who I don’t work for and who do not want this program to work in the first place. I have had frequent conversations with the president and I have committed to him that my role is to get the program up and running and we will do just that,” she said.
Her answer, perceived by many commentators as arrogant and even ignorant, gave her opponents more ammunition to use against the Obamacare technical snafu and alleged cover up.
"She is ignorant of her true position in government. Sebelius works for the American people -- all of the American people. Even those who are against the Affordable Care Act. And she is stonewalling a probe of the Obamacare rollout and continues to avoid answering questions about the half-billion-dollar web site that the people whom she said she doesn't work for had to pay for -- the taxpayers," said political strategist Michael Baker.
While telling lawmakers that she has prior commitments and could not appear before a House panel, Sebelius is being seen not only on news shows but also a television "comedy show" (Comedy Central's Daily Show with Jon Stewart), according to Rep. Issa.
“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," the lawmakers wrote in their letter to the HHS secretary.
“During the months prior to Oct. 1, 2013, the Administration and many HHS officials assured the American people that the health insurance exchanges would be ready to successfully launch on Oct. 1, 2013,” the letter stated.
“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.”
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.”
According to a previous Examiner news story, U.S. House of Representatives Oversight and Government Reform Committee leaders in a letter had demanded information from Obamacare's top technology officials regarding the creation federal insurance exchange web site.
The letter sent to White House officials this past Tuesday reveals that lawmakers are alleging that the Obama administration ordered the web site designers and creators to hide price comparisons from Americans until after they registered and provided all personal information.