Retiring: Top official who oversaw Obamacare website
December 30th, 2013
01:06 PM ET
7 months ago

Retiring: Top official who oversaw Obamacare website

(CNN) – The person tasked with overseeing the development of HealthCare.gov is retiring, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said Monday.

The departure of Michelle Snyder, the chief operating officer at CMS who's been in public service for 41 years, comes a few months after the bungled launch of the federal health care insurance website.

CMS administrator Marilyn Tavenner noted in an email that Snyder was set to leave CMS at the end of 2012 but stayed on at Tavenner's request to help with "the challenges facing CMS in 2013."

"While the agency is losing a key member of its leadership team, we should celebrate Michelle's dedication to a mission that provides vital health care services to tens of millions of our fellow Americans through the Medicare and Medicaid programs," Tavenner said.

Snyder is the second top CMS official to leave since the website's rocky rollout. Tony Trenkle, who served as the agency's chief information officer, retired in November.

Answering questions at an October congressional hearing, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Snyder was the person in charge of the CMS team overseeing the website.

"So Michelle Snyder is the one responsible for the debacle," Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tennessee, said.

But Sebelius clarified: "Excuse me, congresswoman, Michelle Snyder is not responsible for the debacle. Hold me accountable. I'm responsible."

While CMS says most of HealthCare.gov's errors have been fixed, the Obama administration still faces public perception issues as it seeks to bolster enrollment numbers.

The government announced Sunday more than 1.1 million people had enrolled in health care coverage through the federal marketplace between October 1 and December 24.

That number does not include individuals who signed up for insurance through the state-run marketplaces in 14 states and the District of Columbia.

- CNN's Jim Acosta, Ashley Killough and Tom Cohen contributed to this report.


Filed under: Health care • Obamacare
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Donna

    Yes, as usual, the incompetent retire or get promoted, no doubt with a fat bonus to feather her already comfy retirement bed at the expense of the taxpayers she failed. But she is a low level flunky that the Obama administration can hold up and point to and say changes were made. And the con game carries on without a beat being missed as all the higher ups keep their six figure jobs and lie to us over and over.

    December 30, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    The government announced Sunday more than 1.1 million people had enrolled in health care coverage through the federal marketplace between October 1 and December 24.

    That number does not include individuals who signed up for insurance through the state-run marketplaces in 14 states and the District of Columbia.
    --------------------------
    Neither does that number include people who signed up through Medicaid. Did you know that?

    December 30, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  3. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Although the rollout was rocky, the law is working, which is republicans feared the most. When you've got Teatards in Congress coming to the realization that this law is here to stay, you can't just sit on your hands and not try to improve the law. As far as Ms. Snyder's "retirement" goes, I'm a realist, and I'm sure that her resignation was asked for.

    "That number does not include individuals who signed up for insurance through the state-run marketplaces in 14 states and the District of Columbia."

    So if you include these people who signed up through the state-run market places and the states that expanded Medicaid, I bet the number is closer to 2 million or more. Wouldn't you think so CNN Political Unit?

    December 30, 2013 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  4. Gurgyl

    Lot of people I know from California, enrolled thru state-exchange. Their insurance starts from Jan 1st. Law is working.

    December 30, 2013 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  5. Tampa Tim

    Isn't the total number well over 3 million enrolled now? Considering the Kochs and other right wingnuts have spent over $1 billion dollars to encourage people to break the law, that is a decent number in three months. Has any one signed up for Republican Care or Koch Care, or is the website still non existent?

    December 30, 2013 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  6. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    The departure of Michelle Snyder, the chief operating officer at CMS who's been in public service for 41 years,
    -------------------------------------------------
    Forty-one years in public service...wow!
    She must've been tired. All the technology, all the tracking devices, all the eyes in the sky...

    December 30, 2013 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  7. Rudy NYC

    Wow, 1.1 million people. Isn't that great? Seeing how most of them are probably from red states, why are conservatives ao angry and upset about it? Shouldn't they be happy that the people back in the home states and districts are getting better health care insurance?

    December 30, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  8. Lizzie

    Rudy NYC, let's wait untill they are visiting a doctor and are told their deductible is $10000 or more.

    December 30, 2013 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  9. Silence DoGood

    @Tampa Tim
    Isn't the total number well over 3 million enrolled now? Considering the Kochs and other right wingnuts have spent over $1 billion dollars to encourage people to break the law, that is a decent number in three months. Has any one signed up for Republican Care or Koch Care, or is the website still non existent?
    --------–
    I was very angry when I read that news story. They literally targeted young people who they knew were crucial to this ACA working, and lied to them about the law, and encouraged them to not sign up. Koch brothers – please stop "helping" support your country by dismantling it.

    December 30, 2013 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  10. penguin

    The number I want to see is the number of people who now have insurance who didn't have any before. The ones who merely changed insurance through the program are not the ones the program was meant to benefit

    December 30, 2013 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  11. Freedom Of Speech

    @Donna put a sock in it. It is so easy to be an armchair quarterback. You don't know what public sector employees go through dealing with people like you day in and day out. Anyone that works anywhere for 41 years is to be commended. Forty one years of public service congratulations to her. It is good to know that people will get the healthcare they need.

    December 30, 2013 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  12. Tampa Tim

    Lizzie -it doesn't cost any thing to "visit" a doctor. That's another advantage of ACA.

    December 30, 2013 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  13. Rudy NYC

    Lizzie

    Rudy NYC, let's wait untill they are visiting a doctor and are told their deductible is $10000 or more.
    --------------------
    Don't hold your breath wishing up on that. Okay? The law sets very specific limits. Here are typical figures in California.

    Out-of-Pocket Max for individuals, and families of any size. No more per family member limits.

    Bronze – $6,350/$12,700 (ind/fam)
    Silver – $6,350/$12,700 (ind/fam)
    Gold – $6,350/$12,700 (ind/fam)
    Platinum – $4,000/$8,000 (ind/fam)

    I have yet to see a plan that requires customers to pay for everything up to their "deductible". The insurance always picks up at least 80% of the cost of almost everything, which leaves the customer to cover the remaining 20%.

    December 30, 2013 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  14. Silence DoGood

    @penguin
    The number I want to see is the number of people who now have insurance who didn't have any before. The ones who merely changed insurance through the program are not the ones the program was meant to benefit
    ----------–
    You won't really hear much from conservatives on poor and sick people who actually need this! They don't really count in their book and they are more interested in how corporations might have 1% less profit.

    December 30, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  15. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Rudy NYC

    The government announced Sunday more than 1.1 million people had enrolled in health care coverage through the federal marketplace between October 1 and December 24.

    That number does not include individuals who signed up for insurance through the state-run marketplaces in 14 states and the District of Columbia.
    --------–
    Neither does that number include people who signed up through Medicaid. Did you know that?
    -------------------------------------------------
    Oooh! No I did not know that Rudy.
    So what are we talking about here? Maybe in excess of 3 million already? Just like the President's administration projected?
    Somebody pass Donna/just sprayin the smelling salts! Lol!

    December 30, 2013 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  16. Ol' Yeller

    "Somebody pass Donna/just sprayin the smelling salts! Lol!"

    Why? When they come to the first thing out of their mouths would be "BENGHAZI!"
    They will never come to their senses (I use the pronoun they very tongue in cheek, as it should actually be him... or her... or possibly it).

    December 30, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  17. TONE

    I remember Jim Demented said that the healthcare law will be Obama's waterloo,and it wasn't, but it will be the republicans.
    their lies are catching up to them, everyday the bucket goes to the well one day the bottom will drop out, take heed rightwingers take heed.

    December 30, 2013 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  18. Rudy NYC

    DM4O wrote:

    Oooh! No I did not know that Rudy.
    So what are we talking about here? Maybe in excess of 3 million already? Just like the President's administration projected?
    Somebody pass Donna/just sprayin the smelling salts! Lol!
    ------------------------------
    Don't know how many from the state exchanges, yet. Seeing how close to 3/4 of the U.S. population is working through blue states with state exchanges, and a number of red states with exchanges, the running total could be over 3 million. Actually, the totals are behind projections, which the administration blames on the rocky rollout.

    I think their projections are simply off base. Why assume that enrollment will be evenly distributed across the entire period? That's not how most people file their federal taxes. Millions wait until the last minute to get their taxes done. Why should this be any different?

    Donna, and the rest of them, need something stronger that smelling salts to counteract that soylent red that they get from the right wing media machine. I think they should all go out and buy some more pieces of paper that say, "I own gold."

    December 30, 2013 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  19. Tony D

    Rudy NYC
    Lizzie
    Rudy NYC, let's wait untill they are visiting a doctor and are told their deductible is $10000 or more.
    ------–
    Don't hold your breath wishing up on that. Okay? The law sets very specific limits. Here are typical figures in California.
    Out-of-Pocket Max for individuals, and families of any size. No more per family member limits.
    Bronze – $6,350/$12,700 (ind/fam)
    Silver – $6,350/$12,700 (ind/fam)
    Gold – $6,350/$12,700 (ind/fam)
    Platinum – $4,000/$8,000 (ind/fam)
    I have yet to see a plan that requires customers to pay for everything up to their "deductible". The insurance always picks up at least 80% of the cost of almost everything, which leaves the customer to cover the remaining 20%.
    --

    Rudy, what do you think a deductible is? It is no different than a car insurance deductible. My corporate plan has a $500 deductible. Compare that to the Obamacare plan deductibles. People that are forced to buy these plans and have few if any medical bills (like young people) would be crazy to buy these plans. The cost versus the benefit is ridiculous. They will spend thousands on premiums and then thousands on the deductible, not to mention the co-pay and then the co-insurance. For the few medical neeeds they might have, they would be better off paying them out of pocket. Contrary to liberal know-it-all thinking, one size does not fit all when it comes to medical coverage. Everybody's situation is unique. You lefties just don't get it.

    December 30, 2013 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |