Sent today to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius by Reps. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) and Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah):
Dear Secretary Sebelius:
You have made a number of curious statements during your career in public life. Time and space do not allow for a full inventory.
Most recently you are quoted as saying the abysmal Obamacare rollout—for which you had three years and more than $500,000,000 to prepare, test, and perfect—was the fault of House Republicans and the government shutdown.
If memory serves, Obamacare was signed into law in March of 2010, when Republicans controlled precisely no branch of government.
At a an event in Austin, Texas, on October 25th, you said: “In an ideal world, there would have been a lot more testing . . . but we did not have the luxury of that with a law that says ‘it’s go time on October 1st.'” You then—and in the interest of clarity we will edit—blame House Republicans and the government shutdown for your failure to provide a workable product.
In light of this newest explanation for the failure to provide a workable product, could you provide some additional clarification of your remarks, particularly by answering the following questions:
1) When did you first test the website healthcare.gov?
2) When did you last test the website healthcare.gov prior to October 1, 2013?
3) Who limited your ability to test the website as often as you judged necessary?
4) In the “ideal world” you make reference to, how many testings would you have conducted?
5) What “law” are you referencing that says “it’s go time on October 1, 2013”?
6) Assuming arguendo you are able to cite said law, did you ask for an extension?
7) Inasmuch as the website launched October 1 and the government shutdown began October 1, how precisely was the website launch affected by the shutdown?
8) What changes did you make to the website from September 1, 2013, to October 1, 2013?
9) Who, if anyone other than you, directed those changes be made?
Your prompt response to these questions would be most appreciated and helpful to those of us who eagerly await your testimony before congressional committees of appropriate jurisdiction.
Sebelius will make her first appearance before Congress on Wednesday at and Energy and Commerce Committee hearing. None of the congressmen on today’s letter sit on that panel, but Gowdy and Chaffetz are key members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which is angling for the next crack at Sebelius.