There is incompetence in government, but Kathleen Sebelius has set a new record of nonperformance.
In a CNN interview, she said that she did not personally test www.Healthcare.gov. Why not? Because she had insurance. “I have not tried signing up because I have insurance.”
Of course she has insurance. She works for the government. There are no crummy ObamaCare policy options in her life. She’s covered.
When did the President find out about the problems? The day the site opened. “Well, I think it became clear fairly early on, the first couple of days.” It became clear. Yes.
Nobody warned him? No. “I think that we talked about having testing going forward.” But then again, maybe not. It’s all a little hazy.
How does the mistress of mayhem describe the site? “Well, I think there certainly are some challenges. It could be smoother. It could be easier to access.”
This woman does not understand what has happened to her, her boss, and comedy routines on late-night TV.
It is always entertaining to watch some high-level bureaucrat explain why, in full public view, the bottom has dropped out. We get to hear the language of evasion. He speaks of “challenges.” This is a code word for “disaster.”
She said: “It could have been smoother.” That is a bureaucratic response suitable for this question: “How effective was the Navy’s response at Pearl Harbor?”
Is the site a complete and total disaster? Of course not. “People are signing up every day.” How many people? The White House is not saying. No one is saying. Just “people.” At least two.
You know a bureaucrat is in trouble when she begins to spew out raw numbers, but not the key number: the number of completed transactions.
. . . if we had an ideal situation and could have built a product and, you know, a five-year period of time, we probably would have taken five years but we didn’t have five years. And certainly, Americans who rely on health coverage didn’t have five years for us to wait. We wanted to make sure we made good on this final implementation of the law. And again, people can sign up. The call center is open for business. We’ve had 1,100,000 calls. We’ve had 19 million people visit the website. Five-hundred thousand accounts created and people shopping every day. So, people are signing up and there’s help in neighborhoods around the country that people can have a one-on-one visit with a trained navigator and figure out how to sign up. So people are able to sign up.
This is verbal squid’s ink. This is a smoke trail streaming out of the engine of a World War II fighter plane that is heading into the ocean. We are waiting for the pilot’s parachute to open.
After initially stonewalling, she has agreed to testify before Congress. That will be fun to watch. C-Span will be there. The networks will be there, looking for a sound byte. Jon Stewart’s note-takers will be there, gathering snippets for his opening segment.