Paul Ryan: HHS secretary should step down over Obamacare
October 22nd, 2013
06:56 PM ET
9 years 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

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. doh

    Better start looking for a new job, Paul.

    October 23, 2013 05:40 am at 5:40 am |
  2. Robert

    Congress shuts the government down, and holds the country hostage to try and use the crisis as a way to attract voters. Can we have the GOP and Dem congressmen/congresswomen resign also please?

    October 23, 2013 05:58 am at 5:58 am |
  3. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ conservatives,the garbage of America.

    Who cares what the incompetent GOP teaparty wants, their all done and will be kicked out of office next year after losing 24 billon dallars in two weeks , stupid strategy by stupid people. Even their gerrymandering and vote rigging won't save them!!!!!

    October 23, 2013 06:07 am at 6:07 am |
  4. Jeff6187

    Dear Paul,

    Shut up. If you can't be part of the solution, just move aside and try not to contribute to the problem. Especially in that you're doing it not because it's right, but for selfish political gain. If you want to score REAL political points ... go do something good! Take credit for it. This finger pointing is unworthy of your talent.

    Should the HHS secretary take the blame here? Should Obama? Yes and yes. They're in charge. They should be forced to suffer the same fate as anyone in charge should for such a screw up ... they should be forced to fix it. End of discussion. Moving on ...

    October 23, 2013 06:09 am at 6:09 am |
  5. Greg

    Rep. Paul Ryan you need to look at your failed party before criticizing others. And seriously you should consider stepping down yourself.

    October 23, 2013 06:32 am at 6:32 am |
  6. Stefan Topolski

    This difficulty comes hand-in-hand with the choatic private marketplace which republican talking heads insist on. It is hypocricy to demand private marketplace solutions and then criticize the government for preserving the private marketplace while filling in for our abject failure to care for every citizen as we provide water, sewage, libraries and schools for everyone BECAUSE THE PRIVATE MARKETPLACE HAS HISTORICALLY FAILED TO DO SO. The huge complexity of tying together thousands of disparate private and public insurance entities can be avoided by a simple single payer system. Choose your poison.

    A country doctor in Western Massachusetts.

    October 23, 2013 06:34 am at 6:34 am |
  7. Gabbo

    He is absolutely right – Obama should fall on his sword as well here....this is a national disgrace!

    October 23, 2013 06:47 am at 6:47 am |
  8. American Patriot

    Ryan should step down for participating in the fiasco of the Republican engineered government shutdown. He is a disgrace.

    October 23, 2013 06:57 am at 6:57 am |
  9. Name F. Hendricks

    If government worked like a private corporation she (and the program manager) would have neen terminated. A big problem I have with government is that bureaucrats operate with no consequences for their actions. For example, for years there have been government organizations that failed to meet Chief Financial Officer Act financial reporting requirements, and high level government officials (like comptrollers and senior IT personnel) are not held accountable. They will commit millions to IT projects that are mandayed to be "COTS" (commercial off the shelf) and yet then spend untold dollars to then customize the software...completely against the government mandate. Yep...she and others who were responsible should be held to the same standards one would expect in private industry.

    October 23, 2013 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
  10. Warren

    There has to be one Republican out there that thinks the PPACA is a good thing, guess they just don't have "the you know what" to stand up and say so.

    October 23, 2013 07:12 am at 7:12 am |
  11. cumulus

    Another bought and paid for politician, he could not care less about you if you didn't exist.

    October 23, 2013 07:21 am at 7:21 am |
  12. Brian Smith

    This is the kind of result we are starting to see as the off-shore and on-shore IT software development model becomes ubiquitous in corporate America.

    October 23, 2013 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  13. Mike

    How about Ryan resign for being a disgrace to the country?

    October 23, 2013 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  14. juliagray19

    Keep Sebelius! I enrolled in Obamacare yesterday by calling the phone number off It took me about 1 minute to talk to an agent who walked me through the whole process in 20 minutes. It was a simple, positive experience. I have been dealing with discrimination from insurance companies for several years due to pre-existing conditions and I am ecstatic that as of January 1st, 2014, I will never have to worry about that again. It is horrible to be poor because you are sick. I'm 34, a laid off teacher, and on COBRA coverage. Had Obamacare not happened, I honestly don't know what I would do. The phone agent was very helpful, and I was glad to be able to talk to an agent since I had some questions anyway. If you're interested in looking in to Obamacare, just call the toll-free number on It's simple, straightforward, and was a very positive experience.

    October 23, 2013 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  15. Lord Toronaga

    Let her stay. She would only be replaced by another incompetent liberal.

    October 23, 2013 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  16. Hogan's Goat

    How about a twofer? He resigns first, and then she does. Win-win, especially for the Republicans! Seriously, they also want the president to step down. Try winning the election and THEN trying to dictate government policy, you little pipsqueak.

    October 23, 2013 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
  17. Luis H. Hernandez

    I think Ryan, Cruz, Bohner, Graham, and all teabaggers should resign.

    October 23, 2013 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  18. John

    Paul Ryan should resign. He voted to shut down the government. He is NOT representing his constituents, but is pushing the Tea Party agenda. Get out now, before you are thrown out!

    October 23, 2013 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  19. mainepotter

    Ok, Ryan, what should be fixed and how are you going to do it, aside from shutting down the government? Let's hear some solutions rather than whining.

    October 23, 2013 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  20. KarmaBurns

    You first, Mr. Ryan.

    October 23, 2013 07:59 am at 7:59 am |

    Paul Ryan should resign for shutting down the Government and wasting 30 Billion Dollars. Let's get a movement to oust him from OUR GOVERNMENT

    October 23, 2013 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  22. 2Smart4Tea

    Paul Ryan is still in office – and has the gall to call for someone else to resign???? He should have done what was right for America and resigned some time ago – and vowed never to disgrace another public office! Bad show, old man!!!!

    October 23, 2013 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  23. JEN

    Why is it that Sebelius should step down when Cruz or Boehner were not expected to step down, when they cost the economy $24 to $26 billion in lost revenue. This is a typical GOP tactic to draw attention away from the atrocities against the American people that they themselves have done? The GOP will stop at nothing to destroy the efforts of the current administration. It seems the GOP also wants to destroy a democrat for every republican that is gone from office. Now that the republican senator from New Jersey has passed on, and Booker took his place, they want to destroy Sebelius. When is the GOP every going to try to accomplish something positive? They had NO plan for the reformation of the Health Care System, but they want to destroy anything that might help. They have no solutions, they're always just against any idea anyone else comes up with.

    October 23, 2013 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  24. Dave - Phx

    Finally Paul Ryan says something that makes sense.

    October 23, 2013 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  25. Gurgyl

    Politics, politics, politics–these thugs better know computer glitch can be fixed. Very pathetic GOP.

    October 23, 2013 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
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