Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is scheduled to testify Wednesday before the House Energy and Commerce Committee about the troubled launch of HealthCare.gov.
Her prepared remarks lay blame on the contractors hired to design and develop the online federal exchange, who pointed the finger last week at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the HHS agency responsible for implementing the exchange.
Blame game aside, there are numerous unanswered questions the secretary could face Wednesday, including when Americans will know how long it will be before they can return to HealthCare.gov for a smooth sign-up.
The secretary had a rough appearance on The Daily Show earlier this month, when Jon Stewart called her out for dodging questions and regurgitating vague talking points. A recent Saturday Night Live sketch prompted Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., to call her “the laughingstock of America.”
The Republican Party has called for her resignation, but the White House said she has their “full confidence.” Sebelius has been a contentious character, despite her bipartisan support when she served as governor in the red state of Kansas.
Wednesday’s hearing is expected to answer how big of a role she played in the website launch of the president’s signature legislative achievement. It could give Republicans more ammunition in the fight against her job, or it could look like today’s hearing featuring lawmakers arguing about Obamacare while special guest CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner looked on.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story gave the incorrect state where Sebelius had served as governor. She was governor of Kansas.
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