Sebelius has nothing but sneers for Republican's "gift"
November 2nd, 2013
05:08 PM ET
9 years ago

Sebelius has nothing but sneers for Republican's "gift"

(CNN) - Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was already having a rough week when she was presented with an unwelcome gift at an event in Memphis on Friday.

After being grilled on Capitol Hill and receiving subpoenas from one congressional committee, Sebelius was wrapping up her week at an outreach event when Tennessee state Sen. Brian Kelsey approached her with a copy of the book "Web Sites for Dummies," according to Memphis' The Daily News, which captured the moment on camera.

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In the picture posted on The Daily News' website, Sebelius holds the book out with what seems to be an irritated expression.

Kelsey, a Republican, later tweeted, "Just presented Sec Sebelius with 'Websites for Dummies,'" and then, "The book is simply a reminder to Sec. #Sebelius of my message to her that Tennessee does NOT want Medicaid expansion."

The secretary's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Sebelius was in Tennessee to promote the Affordable Care Act and explain how her department is working to fix the botched insurance exchange website,

"Clearly we did not do enough end-to-end testing," admitted Sebelius, though she defended the market itself, saying, "The market is ready. We have competitive plans in every market in this country."

"We have brought in a lot of technology experts to help make sure that we have all the eyes and ears on the problems and the puzzle, “Sebelius added.

On Wednesday, Sebelius apologized for the flawed website when she testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee. President Obama has thus far resisted calls from congressional Republicans to fire Sebelius.

Filed under: Kathleen Sebelius • Obamacare • Tennessee
soundoff (157 Responses)
  1. Margo

    A lot can be gleaned from the behavior of someone who kicks another when they are down.

    November 3, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  2. Pander Bear

    More snark from a minor league teabagger. State Senator from Tennessee? What size hood does he wear?

    November 3, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  3. Donald

    I find it extremely arrogant and hypocritical of all the comments demeaning the senator for his joke or real gift. Dems act the same way all of the time and get applauded for it. Just look at the POTUS, he can't take responsibility for anything and blames others for everything. Look at out of pure spite the POTUS would not pay death benefits for fallen service personnel but WOULD pay for service related operating expenses to keep Americans out of OPEN parks and monuments. Yeah, the Senator may act juvenile but his actions were not SPITEFUL or worse, SHAMEFUL.

    November 3, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  4. unretired05

    A staged photo op Briebart style, ho-hum.

    November 3, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  5. BeverlyNC

    The ACA is not a website. It is a values statement. Republicans have no values when it come to the People they swore an oath to serve but have betrayed.
    They degrade the poor as "lazy" when most welfare recipients live in Republican-controlled states. Republican states are the poorest, have the least education funding, least number of high school graduates, primarily minimum wage jobs, and take the largest percentage of Federal welfare dollars. Now Republican governors are refusing free money to expand Medicaid for their poor. Where will these people then go? To the emergency rooms which drives up healthcare costs.
    Republicans need to look in the mirror as to who is lazy, immoral, stupid, and the biggest drag on Federal monies for their poor.
    We need intelligent leaders with values, intelligence, humanity, and the belief all Americans matter. Vote out ALL Republicans whether local, state or national in 2014 and let's get actual work done for the People again.

    November 3, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  6. Tim

    That's hilarious!! Having 3 years to prepare this website, she probably needs "Hiring for Dummies" as she picked the wrong companies to make this site.

    November 3, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  7. Tampa Tim

    It's times like these that make me wish the government didn't bring electricity to Tennessee. They don't need bubba mint TVA.

    November 3, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  8. J Robinson

    @WallStud, you are right on. I notice that Brian Kelsey supported Rick Perry's presidential bid in 2012, so I think his credibility on recognizing dummies is questionable at best. Tea party and Obama haters keep trying to leverage the web site problems as an argument against the whole program. But anybody who's been involved in a major system rollout or seriously looks at knowledgeable, unbiased assessments will see nothing extraordinary The self-indulgent tendancy to rant, fume and make frothy, public displays of bloated rhetoric is not helpful in problem solving.

    November 3, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  9. Tampa Tim

    I read the republican health plan this morning, all 0 pages of it. Quite a tribute to bagger geniuses.

    November 3, 2013 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  10. Rick

    His actions were childish, but the masses rushing to defend her waste of nearly $700 million in taxpayer money on a site that still doesn't work speaks volumes about how sheepish we have become as a nation. When an elected or appointed official can display that level of incompetence with no consequence whatsoever, how do you ever expect to hold them accountable for anything? They do as they please, spend as they please, and the blind masses from both parties will rush to their defense.

    Step back and look at the things that take place and do so objectively. Reason for yourself and don't buy into all the rhetoric and party line. Whether you support the ACA or not, should this woman keep her job after this debacle? If she were a project manager anywhere else she would have been out on the street long ago. Now she will simply fade away once the press dies down and eventually parlay this appointment into a cushy job with one of the companies that contracted to develop the site, all the while doing high price speaking engagements to pad her bank account.

    We have handed our country over to the 1%, and people are sitting back and clapping about it, cheering for their favorite team.

    November 3, 2013 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  11. reldra

    He needs "Dummies for Dummies". That behavior and turning down medicaid expansion? His state needs it for it's working poor. It it mainly paid for by the federal government, in fact it is fully paid for by the Federal Government 2014-1017. In 2017 95% in 2020 it drops to 90% paid for by the Federal Government. The states that have accepted the expansion funds certainly want to give him a "Lawmakers for Dummies" book.

    November 3, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  12. Kay

    Very well said Wall Stud!

    November 3, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  13. northerstar

    Another example of HOW & WHY Washington is broken. The Administration is not working, Congress & Senate are equally incompetent and juvenile. No wonder why no one with any competence wants to go to Washington any more.

    November 3, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  14. Kay

    Well said Wall Stud!

    November 3, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  15. NameFrank Deery

    Ah, Republicans are just trying to help-this
    obviously tech-challenged lady, but where
    is: "Obamacare for Dummies"? She, Pekosi,
    and, well, the author(Obama) himself, could
    Use That!! Along with the other 99% of the nation!
    Haste makes waste and "you reap what you

    Then, some people wonder why Republicans
    are angry!

    November 3, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  16. Fish

    Somebody needs to tell the Tea Party Pukes their 15 minutes are up!!! Shutting down the government was the ultimate childish act of a desperate party and it cost us $24Billion which they refuse to acknowledge their hypocrisy costing us money needlessly while preaching budget cuts!!!

    November 3, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  17. DBFCO

    She should resign, she's fair game for this kind of stunt after she blew hundreds of millions of our tax dollars, lighten up Margo

    November 3, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  18. Auntie Bob

    She had a chance to make a joke of it, then everyone would have had a laugh. Of course, If I were that "clearly incompetent" I wouldn't be out pedaling such a huge mistake. This "law" is a tax.

    November 3, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    She should have given him a "Governing for dummies" book.

    November 3, 2013 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  20. bill

    They DEMS lied to us ...... Nothing more needs to be said ...... LIED TO US !!!

    November 3, 2013 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  21. yup

    This entire administration is a joke ......we all knew it but noooo democrats knew what they were doing they KNEW all would be ok..........btw news flash! Foxnews just changed there slogan from Fair and balanced to SEE we told u so .....thanks democraps hope and change is going EXACTLY as we all to be on the side of stupid eh>?

    November 3, 2013 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  22. El J

    Oh, "don't do this to me!"

    November 3, 2013 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  23. Fair is fair

    Turn in your guns for gift cards and your jobs for healthcare! Obamadontcare!

    November 3, 2013 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  24. Wirius

    Look, I think the website rollout is atrocious, and she and the Obama administration have a lot to answer for.

    But doing a childish prank like this is just crass and demeaning. It would be funny as an SNL sketch, its just insulting here.

    November 3, 2013 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  25. RickFromTexas

    Lol, the GOP shouldn't talk, their ORCA software predicted Romney winning Ohio and it made Karl Rove look like an absolute fool on live TV.

    If the GOP had designed the new healthcare software, it couldn't handle the change to daylight savings without crashing.

    We really need these nitwits to go away in 2014, folks. Haven't you had enough of these lunatics, I know I sure have.

    November 3, 2013 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
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