Paul Ryan: HHS secretary should step down over Obamacare
October 22nd, 2013
06:56 PM ET
11 months 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. rlindsl

    In the real world more than half of all software projects are technically "failures" if you judge by exceeding time, budget, or failing to meet specifications. It isn't like running a congressional party where every single thing you do is perfect and works as intended....

    Seriously Republicans, tech is ... hard, filled with actual bugs and problems. If you had paid attention in math class (or biology, or health, or philosophy, or science, or finance, or economics... etc..) you would know that trila nad error involves... error and this can be fixed.

    House republicans condemning someone else's job performance is like Jeffery Dahmer reviewing restaurants, in poor taste to say the least.

    October 23, 2013 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  2. Earthling147

    Ryan should resign.

    October 23, 2013 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  3. Rogue351

    Speaking of stepping down. Ryan, you along with your puppy dog sad face do not have a lot of room to talk. Many of the things you said and agreed with during your last run for the Vice President did not sit very well with a lot of people. You yourself caused and continue to cause problems that are not leading to any real solutions in this country. You lost the election, lost. In blunt terms you have failed and you should also step down. You see politics should not be a second chance sort of game. All of our heads our on the table. So if you fail at a presidential or vice presidential bid the public has spoken and you and your services and opinions are no longer needed or wanted. You see Obama, won. Obama is the president and it is the job of congress to help make America better based on his lead. Not fight every single statement. hire radio and TV to attempt to disgrace the president because you and the GOP cant. To many political figures believe that once they get to a certain level in politics no one can touch them. Well this needs to change. You lose you lose your validity with the public and the media. Next !!! This way these politicians are not only putting there jobs on the line but their reputations.

    BTW- Anyone who disagrees, you are wasting your time writing a reply. You, just like Ryan are pointless. You lost, you are no longer relevant.

    October 23, 2013 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  4. Anne

    No all of the republicans should resign. Then something might get done. You are the ones who didn't want this to work. You should be jumping up and down and cheering because this is failing (or at least in your eyes). That's what you wanted isn't it? Anything that the President tries to do, you want it to fail? What suggestions are you making to help make it better? What are you trying to do to help people successfully get health care? What a bunch of hypocrites and losers. You've done nothing to create jobs. All you've done is complain and whine. I think it makes a whole lot more sense for you to resign Paul.

    October 23, 2013 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  5. dah00

    Mr Paul Ryan, you should resign. Time to own up to that. You are in no position to point your finger at someone else.

    October 23, 2013 01:09 am at 1:09 am |
  6. Doc

    Well, Paul, I think you should resign too, but we don't always get what we want, now, do we?

    October 23, 2013 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  7. al

    anything for attention.
    apple released a new OS today, their lines are trashed too.
    that's how it goes with a new popular release.

    October 23, 2013 01:19 am at 1:19 am |
  8. fred

    Maybe Paul intended to say Boehner, Ted Cruz and the likes of the hard core republican that almost make United States to default, cost US 20 billion dollars should resign. Do we send you to Washington to look for trouble? You should be fixing problems. Can you name one thing that you – Paul Ryan has ever given the President kudos for since he came into office? Maybe you should start by checking the value of all your stocks and houses, and compare them to when your uncle Bush left office before Obama took office.

    October 23, 2013 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  9. Sam Cooke

    Here comes the opportunist, and Paul Ryan is at the head of the list.

    October 23, 2013 01:26 am at 1:26 am |
  10. J.V.Hodgson

    If HHS were a corporate entity the IT director would be fired not the Ceo.
    The failure of the website Mr. Ryan has nothing whatsoever to do with the laws validity or otherwise.
    It is typical of the meaningless and empty rhetoric the Republican party espouses not only on PPACA and elsewhere
    where Ideological rhetoric passes for sound economic and fiscal policy.
    Tell you what why not threaten to defund HHS unless Sibeliues resigns.
    Give us a break from this non policy rhetoric for passing as freedom of speech that achieves nothing proposes nothing positive , and opposes anything this administration does or attempts to do.
    One day you might even compromise ( lord forgive you ) let alone agree and only dante's inferno ( read tea party) awaits you.
    Regards,
    Hodgson.

    .

    October 23, 2013 01:29 am at 1:29 am |
  11. fred

    Sure, she should step down – as soon as a single Republican steps down over their mistakes..... how much did the brinkmanship/shutdown cost the taxpayers? Paul Ryan's response: silence. How much did Cuccinelli waste targeting Mann over a personal grudge? Paul Ryan's response: silence. Etc. etc. I agree the Obamacare rollout was a mess and that the mandate should be delayed until signing up is fixed. But this is just about GOP political MO: anything Obama does is bad. THe GOP needs to grow up.

    October 23, 2013 01:30 am at 1:30 am |
  12. tsb610

    What a shameless person! Paul Ryan should step down from his office for his part in the Government Shutdown.

    October 23, 2013 01:45 am at 1:45 am |
  13. Transcender

    Who the HECK cares what Republicans say about ANYTHING anymore? They've shown their butts to the whole world, over this shutdown. NO ONE CARES what they have to say. You want to know what REAL AMERICANS are saying in this country??? They are saying that they will vote the jerks out of the House of Representatives who voted for the shutdown and against the deal to reopen. IT'S OUR GOVERNMENT. THE GOP HAS NO RIGHT TO SHUT IT DOWN TO ACT LIKE A 2-YR-OLD BRAT. Paul Ryan can eat his own rat tail.

    October 23, 2013 01:53 am at 1:53 am |
  14. Jones

    She should resign right after all the House Republican Tea Party members who forced the shutdown.

    October 23, 2013 02:20 am at 2:20 am |
  15. H K

    Finally I agree with Ryan.

    October 23, 2013 02:36 am at 2:36 am |
  16. gstlab3

    the whole lot of them need to be investigated for corruption and charges of treason are needed as well.

    October 23, 2013 02:55 am at 2:55 am |
  17. D Yoshida

    The Republican party cost Americans 24 Billion dollars by electing not to fund the government by Oct 1st. I think those who voted for the shut down and against reopening should resign.

    October 23, 2013 02:57 am at 2:57 am |
  18. jpmcmullen

    Seriously? Paul Ryan should resign. He has done absolutely nothing constructive for this nation and has his DNA all over the failed policy focus of the GOP. I am so glad that the population of this nation is waking up to the reality that people like the Congressman are destroying families and individuals and that We, The People, are not going to continue to stand by and let them decimate individuals while protecting corporate abuse.

    October 23, 2013 03:09 am at 3:09 am |
  19. TheLeftWing

    Ted Cruz and all those who voted to keep the government shutdown (ahem Mr. Ryan) should resign.

    October 23, 2013 03:15 am at 3:15 am |
  20. Roger

    Paul Ryan, another, "ALL ABOUT ME REPUBLICAN," running for president in 2016. He's just another example of the current crop of republicans who will sink to the lowest levels for THEIR OWN personal political gain. It's ALL about keeping the 1%ers happily wealthly, and the hell with the rest of us. Were expendable. We're nothing but a DRAIN on THEIR economy.

    October 23, 2013 03:43 am at 3:43 am |
  21. Cynthia Avishegnath

    Phenom. At one moment trying to dismantle ACA. The next moment complaining critically that ACA is not adequately supported.

    October 23, 2013 04:20 am at 4:20 am |
  22. Craig

    Ryan continues to be very good at telling others what they are doing wrong, but even worse at proposing anything remotely positive or doable. His budget expertise is limited to saying "we can make cuts, but I won't tell you where" and filling the columns with numbers that simply don't add up. Of course, it's a given he won't even consider the idea that maybe...just maybe, part of the problem is those pesky tax cuts and perks for the rich. In fact, he proposes more of them, but can't seem to be specific about where THAT money would come from. Until he has actually "done a job" he has no business telling others how to do theirs. Yes, the web site issues are real, and I'm not pretending they aren't. But Ryan has no place to talk.

    October 23, 2013 04:31 am at 4:31 am |
  23. perz

    She should be "asked to step down". She should be fired. And she should be barred from working on any other government contract.

    I've done contracting work for a major company, for a government agency. This woman even looks like one of our bury-head-in-sand managers. You know how it's said that as they get older, people's character is etched in their face? She's been confronted by so many moral choices she answered immorally, her body is in rebellion.

    Just get rid of bureaucrats such as her, who are banking that by following the example of her other inept insider peers, she'll be able to skate through to retirement with a big, big pension. Fire her.

    October 23, 2013 04:37 am at 4:37 am |
  24. David Cramer

    The one reason I wouldn't want Kathleen Sebelius to resign: the President would have to nominate a new HHS Secretary. And the Republicans in the Senate (Ted Cruz) would do everything they could to avoid confirming any appointee the President selected, in order to delay Obamacare. They're not concerned with her performance, they just consider this another opportunity to create another obstacle for the President.

    October 23, 2013 04:59 am at 4:59 am |
  25. Mark

    Hey Ryan, you may be right, she may need to resign. Being held to the same performance standards that means the entire senate and every representative should resign too. Drop your resignation letter off at the first mail box you pass then you can throw all the stones you like you worthless political cronie.

    October 23, 2013 05:02 am at 5:02 am |
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