Will President Obama Call on Secretary Sebelius to Skip the Gala and Testify Thursday?

October 21, 2013

President Obama marked the first day of open enrollment under the health care law with a speech in the Rose Garden where he asked the American people for understanding as the administration addressed what it characterized as “glitches.” Three weeks later, the president heads back to the Rose Garden today to address a still-frustrated America. Energy and Commerce Committee members have a lot of questions for the president and his administration: how many individuals have enrolled in coverage? What went wrong with the rollout and what is the administration doing to address the technology failures? Why were members repeatedly told everything was “working the way it is supposed to” and “on track” when that was clearly not the case?

Members have invited Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebeilus to testify on these very questions, but she continues to refuse to testify at this Thursday’s full Energy and Commerce Committee hearing – PPACA Implementation Failures: Didn’t Know or Didn’t Disclose? As The Daily Beast editor John Avlon told CNN, “It’s totally unacceptable to my mind, that she doesn’t testify before Congress, that’s part of her job. She should answer questions. She’s got time to go to a Kennedy center gala, she’s damn right got time to go to Congress.” According to reports, Secretary Sebelius will be in Boston to attend the Kennedy Forum Gala on Wednesday, October 23, 2013, at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston.

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