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. QHD

    She admitted and apologized. Tell me if you never make any mistake in your life. What you did is an act of an uneducated person showing no respect for an human being, And you want to represent the people of TN?

    November 3, 2013 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  2. mr john smith

    Are government is broke, not working. If their is any hope to fix and save Obamacare, the individual mandates must be delayed a year. It is the most easy common sense thing, to do. To think the web site can be fixed in November, is not realistic. Just to properly tests all the new code, software will require at least 6 months. The politicians have to fix this, before most Americans will not have any healthcare coverage come January 1st. I know this President doesn't want to make any changes in his signature healthcare. It is broke, so properly fix it. Do this for the American people. Put politics aside, for once.

    November 3, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  3. ug

    She deserves it...

    November 3, 2013 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  4. Steve Fielder

    Tennessee doesn't want Medicare expansion? Wrong, it's greedy, callous, stone-hearted right-wingers like Brian Kelsey who don't want it, and I'll bet you can find large number of impoverished Tennessee residents who'd gladly welcome better access to healthcare services....

    November 3, 2013 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  5. John

    I love how everyone keeps discussing how we cannot have budget cuts. Why not? We should we trying to build a stable economy, not one that will need to keep having a bandaid placed on it every few months.

    November 3, 2013 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  6. Guest

    She said she is responsible for this debacle.

    November 3, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  7. Loathstheright

    Republicans are vile, what more can one say about the UnAmerican values of conservatives.

    November 3, 2013 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  8. Harolynne Bobis (@Amaliada)

    What most of these comments refuse to take into account is that it wasn't until June 2012 that the administration knew that states would be able to pull out of the expanded medicare program and thus not create their own exchanges. This is a huge project (somewhat on the lines of Medicare Part D which also had roll out problems). Creating a website for a single purpose, and then having to make it fit several other purposes isn't easy. Nor can it be done quickly.

    I just hope those folks whose state legislatures and governors didn't exhibit their pro-life values when it came to expanding health care are okay with these actions...otherwise, they have only themselves to blame for accepting this state of affairs.

    November 3, 2013 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  9. Just

    She gets well deserved criticism. The administration succeeded in the comedy of the century thus far.

    November 3, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  10. Cris

    I think she should give a copy of "A Confederacy of Dunces."

    November 3, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  11. John M,

    In the pharmaceutical business, before a new computer program is rolled out, the system is validated, meaning it is challenged, tested, poked, and prodded up, down, and sideways, beginning to end, to ensure that it is operating properly according to predetermined specifications. Any errors or deficiencies are corrected on the spot, before the system goes on line. Better to do it right than to do it over. A pretty simple concept, and one that was obviously completely ignored by this dimwit and her minions.

    November 3, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  12. Patxpeace

    It is a pity that these persons nominated by Mr. Barack Obama, don't even are ashamed of testifying in front of the congress but show defiant attitude while brazenly lying in front of national TV. We the people like sheep cannot even move because the president will immediately try to distort the attention to other topics putting in action the movement of illegals and other outlaws causing a lot of turmoil to confuse the Americans that are paying the tax and also the consequences of this president mistakes and impositions with clear leftist points of views. God save our nation!

    November 3, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  13. nwcommenter

    This is absolutely disgusting and mean spirited.. SHAME ON YOU Sen. Kelsey. It's about time to act your age!

    November 3, 2013 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  14. nwcommenter

    Shame on you Sen. Kelsey. That was mean spirited! No, Sebelius should NOT resign. It is a website, not the Iraq war.. oh wait... who resigned for that fiasco?!?

    November 3, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  15. Browner13

    I don't agree with the ACA implementation, but this is very disrespectful. She may be imcompetent but there still needs to be some level of respect for her and her position.

    November 3, 2013 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  16. Nordic

    Someone should give Obama "Governing for dummies". All you Tea Party haters make me sick for they ARE the for the PEOPLE that elected them, not you. Instead of goose stepping with the crowd in DC they actually REPRESENT their constituents and are the the very essence of what the founders seen as an effective system for Government. You guys with all your Tea Party terrorist mantras are the very problem this Nation faces.

    November 3, 2013 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  17. GI Joe

    The should have sent it to CGI, the Canadian company that hired so many Green Card Holders to develop the site.

    November 3, 2013 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  18. Vstarguy

    People like Brian Kelsey who is a politician with a very immature sophomoric attitude is an indication of why this
    country is in trouble today! The fool can't discern between a new website bug from the AHC complex contents, so he has the temerity to try to bash Kathleen Sebelius. A snotty faced little runt who has no idea what he's talking about manages to
    get his name in the news media. He should be made to stand in a corner and repeat " I'm just a dumb kid" for one hour!

    November 3, 2013 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  19. Anthony in California

    Too bad they don't publish Being President for Dummies and Telling the Truth for Dummies

    And im sure you'd think GWBush would receive it first right? Riiight?

    November 3, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  20. Ferroxian

    Yes, I have been in tense and heated disagreement with a person. But when you insult your opponents intelligence, you insult your own for BEING in a disagreement with someone who you have said, or implied, is intellectually lacking. You might insult the program, the idea, the methods of an opponent but you NEVER publicly show this level of open interpersonal contempt! Heck, with all the contention over Obamacare from the differing factions, how do we know there was no subterfuge or willful acts of sabotage.? We dont! This is why we need the NSA to do all the spying it does. The cyber-world is its own best secret keeper – we may never know truth in that realm of binary expression moving at the speed of electronic circuits. Too many NEED relief from the oppressive cost of US Medicine. WHy are we really fighting with 50 million uncovered Americans?

    November 3, 2013 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  21. Evergreen

    We will eventually have something to show for the money spent on the website. We will never have anything to show for the 16 day 24 BILLION DOLLAR GOP hissy fit. Hold someone accountable for this before you point fingers at others.

    November 3, 2013 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  22. S. B. Stein

    Nothing like being uncivil and rude. She knows that there are problems with the site and having them addressed.

    November 3, 2013 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  23. davecu

    In other cultures the inept would fall on their swords.
    Here these mutts don't even lose their jobs. They get promoted and allowed to retire with full benefits.
    She seems to forget that she is working for us and we're not happy!

    November 3, 2013 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  24. Michigan patriot


    November 3, 2013 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  25. enuff

    How old are these congressmen really?

    November 3, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
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