- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Louisiana Republican lawmaker is recommending that Kurt DelBene, the former Microsoft executive who will oversee the federal Obamacare website next year, should just advise President Obama to scrap his signature health care law.

The White House said Tuesday that Mr. DelBene will be taking over for Jeffrey Zients, a management consultant credited with turning HealthCare.gov around after its rocky Oct. 1 debut threatened to undermine the Affordable Care Act in its infancy.

“Putting health care under government control, and then calling in the private sector to try to fix the mess that results, is not the way to go,” said Rep. John Fleming, Louisiana Republican.

Supporters of the law insist it will be a success in the long run, especially now that the federal web portal has turned a corner and should function as well as some of the state-run health exchanges, where uninsured Americans can shop for private plans, often with the help of government subsidies.

But conservative lawmakers argue that even if HealthCare.gov is working now, the underlying reforms in Obamacare are flawed, raising costs and forcing millions of people out of health plans they liked.

“When you’re in way over your head, it’s OK to ask for help,” Mr. Fleming said. “That’s what the Obama administration has done by bringing in a former Microsoft executive. It’s an admission that government bureaucrats were incapable of standing up and running the Obamacare website. That should be a lesson. If they couldn’t handle the website, is there really any chance that Obamacare itself will be successful?”

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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