The rollout of Healthcare.gov has been difficult. Of course it is not so difficult in states that set up of state exchanges, but for those who live in states where the federal government had to step in the onsite rollout has been a disaster. So it is no surprise that Republicans are calling for HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to resign or be fired. After all she is the CEO of this enterprise and it is not uncommon to demonstrate accountability by having the person at the top pay the price. What doesn’t make sense to many is the lack of similar calls for the removal of the CEO’s for the four private contractors who are actually responsible for this debacle.
Yesterday they were called to account on Capitol Hill in a hearing that seemed to treat them as witnesses to an Obama debacle than to grill them on accountability. After all they are receiving huge government subsidies and can lawfully profit and enrich themselves off of this national health care crisis. It seems private contractors are immune from this type of prosecution.
According to a Washington Post report 32 House Republicans have called for HHS Sec. Sebelius to step down saying,
"The scope of the problem is so great that, were this a private company or military command, the CEO or general would have been fired," the members write. "We are, therefore, calling on you to hold Secretary Sebelius accountable for the fiasco that is HealthCare.gov and ask for her resignation”
Attempts to reach these members have so far received no response regarding their claim that private firm CEO’s should be fired under similar circumstances. There is no record at this time of a similar letter to the four firms managing the Healthcare.gov rollout.
For the record the four CEO’s that according to 32 Members of Congress should be fired are:
Michael Roach is CEO of CGI, Conseillers en Gestion et Informatique, a foreign firm based in Canada who according to news reports is the primary contractor on the Healthcare.gov site.
Bikram Bakshi is CEO of Quality Software Services Inc., which built the “data hub” that pulls income levels and other eligibility information from federal agencies.
Richard F. Smith is Chairman and CEO of Equifax Inc., whose Equifax Workforce Solutions verifies people’s incomes so they can get a subsidy.
Edward J. Casey, Jr. is Chairman and CEO of Serco Inc., which handles the paper applications, can plausibly claim to have no responsibility for the website failure. Ironically, Casey replaced CEO Chris Hyman who stepped down yesterday in response to a British contracting scandal.