Paul Ryan: HHS secretary should step down over Obamacare
October 22nd, 2013
06:56 PM ET
1 year ago

Paul Ryan: HHS secretary should step down over Obamacare

(CNN) - Rep. Paul Ryan on Tuesday joined a growing list of Republicans who want Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to step down over rampant problems in the launch of Obamacare’s HealthCare.gov.

The 2012 GOP vice presidential nominee was on a conference call with reporters, helping fellow Republican and Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli make the case against a Medicaid expansion in the state championed by Cuccinelli’s opponent, Democrat Terry McAuliffe.

Cuccinelli has already said that Sebelius should step down. When Ryan was asked if he felt the same way, he responded: “I do agree with that.”

“This rollout has been a fiasco,” the House Budget Committee chairman said, and “not just because they have bad tech,” but because the entirety of the law is flawed.

Sebelius gave members of Congress the impression the health care website’s launch would be flawless despite knowing otherwise, said the congressman from Wisconsin.

“I think some people should be held responsible,” Ryan added.

Much of the call was devoted to Cuccinelli attempting to paint the differences between himself and McAuliffe. Cuccinelli, the Virginia attorney general, argued that his opponent has little experience and would drive the state to financial ruin by expanding Medicaid.

McAuliffe, a businessman and former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, has accused Cuccinelli of tea party extremism. Two weeks before the election, he leads Cuccinelli by single digits in the latest public opinion polls.

–CNN’s Bryan Koenig contributed to this report.


Filed under: Health care • Kathleen Sebelius • Ken Cuccinelli • Paul Ryan
soundoff (365 Responses)
  1. Anonymous

    Yep and Barrack should step down over not being President, lol

    October 23, 2013 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  2. Pilgrim

    ObanaCare should resign.

    October 23, 2013 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  3. Anonymous

    Yep, and Barrack should step down over NOT being President, lol

    October 23, 2013 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  4. Tom Masters

    Yep, and Barrack should step down over NOT being President, lol

    October 23, 2013 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  5. minnie mouse

    Yes people do need to be responsible Ryan, but you can't blame the health care roll out failure on one particular person. Numerous people were involved in the making of this site. This is a site that could take time to get running 100% efficiently and why would anyone want to just toss and start over. If people are going to start getting fined then this should include businesses also, and someone needs to be letting the people know where else they can sign up for insurance if they can't get through on the healthcare.gov site.

    The law just said you had to purchase insurance. It didn't say where you had to purchase from and it also stated that the business had to provide insurance also to the employees. They also need to be abiding by this law and need to be getting fined as well at the same time as individuals.

    If your just going to toss it out and start all over, then just toss the entire law because you can't be giving one year extensions to people, when the law was ruled in 2010 and didn't state it that way.

    Just lift the ban on pre-existing conditions, to allow everyone to be covered. If people want insurance fine buy it, if they don't then don't buy it. The way I see it, if you walk into a doctors office or a hospital, charge them an extra fine for not having insurance. In the end they will get fed up and just go out and purchase a plan. Everyone does need to pay for his or her own insurance but at the present time, this law is not working to where everyone can get into the exchanges on time and your giving special breaks to business that are not supposed to be even getting special extensions for a year.

    The supreme court ruled constitution in 2010 for everyone to abide by the same law, that includes all small business, all other business and all individuals to be at the exact same time effective. The way it's set up it is not, so in the current state of this law it is truly unconstitutional.

    I have pre-existing conditions, I know what it's like to not be able to changes insurances, find a plan that will cover you, go without insurance. If your going to set up a law and pass it to make it "Law of the Land", then make sure it remains constitutional for everyone!! Stop giving out special interests or concessions to certain groups of people.

    October 23, 2013 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  6. Capn Kirk

    The Congress that let the government shutdown; that almost let the US default on it debts; that can't produce a budget, let alone a balanced budget, thinks "...some people should be held responsible." Fair enough, but let's apply the same logic to them. On both sides of the aisle.

    October 23, 2013 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  7. RomneyWho

    Everyone of the House Republicans should step down for screwing up congress and not contributing anything positive to the advancement of this country . . . Period.

    October 23, 2013 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  8. Nancy

    Mr. Ryan...If those responsible for the glitches in online Affordable Care Act should step down then why did your party not call for the resignation of those responsible for the multitude of glitches in the Post 9/11 Veterans Education Act. That was an online fiasco for months and had many fewer veteran citizens trying to access it. The ACA has the same problems as the Post 9/11 Act did. Oh!!! That's right Post 9/11 was activated during a Republican administration. Quit playing politics with benefits for the citizens. Why don't you give up your extravagant medical benefits, and pensions and try living like the rest of the average citizen. Tired of paying and paying so that you can have everything you want while we suffer for it. My son, who enlisted to protect YOU and your wealth never was able to get the 9/11 benefits because of one excuse or another so had to use the previous plan (strange how all that paper work and online apps always seem to be lost or cannot find them) and now has an education debt to pay off after defending this country for people like you who would deny him his just due.

    October 23, 2013 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  9. guapo

    get rid of that no good woman

    October 23, 2013 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  10. nvwoman

    The "blame" should fall on the appropriate parties, e.g. those hired to set up the website. Neither Obama nor Sibelius were involved in the technical aspects. Does one fire the CEO of a car company if there is a recall on faulty parts? Just another political tool, used for attack only. What Ryan and others are doing makes a lot of noise, but doesn't fix a thing. Logic seems to have left politics.

    October 23, 2013 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  11. Hooper

    You lost your bid to be dictator of the nation, or at least second dictator in command. Now do us all a favor and go away, just as fast and far as you can go. JUST GO.

    October 23, 2013 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  12. jimmyva18

    This INEPT HHS Secretary should be F-I-R-E-D, TODAY!!!! This entire Administration is a joke. Somewhere, Jimmy Carter is fist-pumping that he is now, not the WORST P*TUS, in history.

    October 23, 2013 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  13. SJ

    I'm assuming Ryan is also willing to resign, due to the Govt shut down fiasco, he as a Senator is just as responsible for burning down $22B for nothing.
    Put up or shut up.

    October 23, 2013 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  14. A Kickin' Donkey

    When the lychpin of something is technical, have a GEEK Executive in charge of it. Neither the President [who would never take the time] nor Sebillius were upto the task of being the critiquing boss that had to be answered to. I would have expected Sebbillius to have at least: 1) had a fully tested completion date of August 1st 2) have a beta version test with 50,000 secret shopper users recruited in advance, 3) have incorporated a safety factor in the design for capacity surge (engineers dont build bridges to carry just 1X the load of cars it will experience), 4.) required Peer-to-peer design review teams comprised of Cisco, Amazon, i-tunes, facebook technical directors: at the behst of the President these people should have been drafted, who would have said no? 5) and at this point they need a parralell clean sheet of paper design .

    October 23, 2013 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  15. etd

    Hilarious. This from the gang that shut down the government for 16 days, wasted 23 billion dollars and now thinks someone else is incompetent and should resign. Republicans = absolutely no sense of the ironic.

    October 23, 2013 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  16. Mark Yelka

    Why are some members of Congress asking Sebelius to resign when they don't offer to resign with their abysmal performance?

    October 23, 2013 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  17. Mattie

    The website has technical problems...hmmmm...lets fire the boss!! Sounds like a plan....... How about lets get more web developers and technical support personel to be available to work the issues to keep the site up and availble to the public or add additional servers.... network bandwidth to support the load of the utilization activity of the website.

    October 23, 2013 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  18. maggie

    Seriously, those that shut down the government are asking Sebelius to resign over website that doesn't work right? Looked in the mirror lately?

    October 23, 2013 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  19. Judi

    Give me a break! These guys seem to have forgotten the fiasco for people when Bush unveiled his Medicare Part D in 2006. Computer glitches! They could not get medicines at pharmacies. Information was incorrect! People did not know how to get on it! The government had to reimburse everybody for the costs of medicines they could not get!
    WHO was asked to resign then????? Whose head rolled????? HYPOCRITES as usual.......

    October 23, 2013 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  20. Greg

    She should resign over a webpage? Apparently Paul Ryan doesn't understand how in depth this is. It's not like going to cnn.com. He needs to resign for trying to destroy the lower and middle class.

    October 23, 2013 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  21. John Riley Goldsmith

    Obama cabinet members don't resign because of mistakes that are their responsibility.

    October 23, 2013 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  22. Tom

    How can HHS award a $100 million contract without competitive bidding? Does the ObamaCare website and databases meet required cybersecurity regulations? There is so much wrong with how this job was done that more fplks than Sebelius should be fired – some of them should go to jail. With all the last minute and current tinkering with the website, there is no way it has met Federal Regulations for cybersecurity – these regulations are not optional. The whole thing should be shut down until GAO certifies that it meets requlations. GAO should also investigate the award of this no-bid contract to a Canadian company that contributed to Obama's campaign and was a frequent visitor to the White House.

    October 23, 2013 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  23. Quinton

    So, he is saying that any time you mislead someone you should step down?.... when is he stepping down?

    October 23, 2013 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  24. Stephen

    Ryan is dead wrong on this. No one should quit or be fired. Those who made the mess MUST clean it up, and those who voted for those who made the mess should help clean it up FREE! They will be most affected by all of it anyway!

    October 23, 2013 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  25. Doug from Seattle

    And Paul Ryan should take a long walk on a short pier!

    October 23, 2013 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
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