Ten Republican senators asked President Obama on Thursday to fire his top health official because the problems tied to the federal Obamacare website are “profound, systemic and undeniable.”
“We write today to formally request that you immediately relieve Secretary [Kathleen] Sebelius of her duties as Secretary of Health and Human Services,” the letter, spearheaded by Sen. Pat Roberts, a Republican who knows Mrs. Sebelius personally from their shared home state of Kansas, said.
They outlined a litany of problems with HealthCare.gov, which is supposed to connect residents of 36 states with health plans on the individual market but has frequently crashed since its Oct. 1 debut.
The site also has struggled to transmit accurate reports to insurers that correspond to individual transactions.
“Regrettably these problems were diagnosed early and ignored,” the senators wrote, citing media accounts and inspector general warnings from earlier this year.
For its part, the White House has given no indication it will oust Mrs. Sebelius. Instead, they say they are focused on making the website work for the “vast majority” of users by the end of the month.
But the senators said Americans taxpayers cannot count on the “same failed leadership” to fix the site, which has cost $400 million.
They also noted that millions of Americans are losing their health plans because they do not meet minimum-coverage standards under Obamacare, yet cannot explore their options on the federal website.
“These people could be left without any insurance at all if the exchange systems are not working soon,” they wrote.
Besides Mr. Roberts, the letter was signed by Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, John Cornyn of Texas, Ted Cruz of Texas, Mike Enzi of Wyoming, James Risch of Idaho, Mark Kirk of Illinois, John Barrasso of Wyoming, James Inhofe of Oklahoma and Rand Paul of Kentucky.