The chairman of the House Democratic Caucus claimed that there’s a “long way to go” before determining that the White House or even its appointee at the Department of Health and Human Services can be blamed for the Obamacare website failure.
“I think we have long ways to go before we can say it goes all the way to the top. We certainly want to get the website fixed but we shouldn’t fixate on the website. And that’s unfortunately — I think my Republican colleagues have begun to do is just fixate on the website,” Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.) said on MSNBC.
“…So, absolutely, we should hold people accountable. But right now, we’re trying to determine who should be accountable. Anytime, you take tax to your money and taxpayers have paid for this, you should be held accountable. So those private contractors who took taxpayer money to do the work, those health personnel who are working on this for the driven government agencies, we have to figure out who should be held accountable.”
“And by the way, Congress which is supposed to do a job of oversight should be held accountable as well,” he added.
House Democrats have been pushing the Obama administration meme that the healthcare law is “more than a website” and highlighting problems with the Medicare Part D rollout during the Bush administration.
“It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that when you got someone that has put up more than 40 votes trying to eliminate a program, and all of a sudden, they’re going to come see Jesus and say that they want to make it work well,” Becerra said. “At the same time, many of these Republicans who are talking about their concerns about the website were not raising any concerns back in 2006 when the Bush Administration tried to launch that Medicare, Part D program. They never once called for Secretary Lovett to resign when he was the secretary of HHS under George Bush. They never asked anyone to resign… it does begin to smell a bit.”
Becerra said he trusts President Obama when the commander in chief said the website problems will be worked out by the end of November. “I trust the president would not say it unless he felt very confident that they would. They have to,” he added. “We didn’t do this major reform, pass this historic health law — health security law so that it wouldn’t work.”
Then the congressman blamed the problems on the government shutdown.
“Most Americans would’t understand what’s gone into the website. Most of us didn’t have to work all the details out. It’s pretty complicated but they could understand this,” Becerra continued. “When on October 1st, Republican shutdown the government for 16 days, and on the same October 1st, the health marketplace is launched. It sure makes it tough for these health marketplaces to move forward efficiently when the government is intentionally shutdown.”
Obamacare staff weren’t furloughed during the shutdown.