Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 1, 2015

7 Democrats Seek Long-Term HealthCare.gov CEO

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A group of seven Democratic senators is calling on President Barack Obama to appoint an official to oversee ongoing repairs to the beleaguered federal health care website after Jeffrey Zients departs.

Zients, the former acting head of the Office of Management and Budget, is scheduled to take over as director of the National Economic Council in January.

The senators, led by Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, praised the selection of Zients as an interim leader before highlighting what they view as a need for a long-term solution in a letter dated Nov. 25, which was released Tuesday afternoon.

“A project of this size and scope demands the sustained leadership and day-to-day management of a chief executive officer — someone whose sole responsibility would be an unrelenting focus on healthcare.gov and who has experience overseeing large and complex consumer-facing technology projects,” the senators wrote. “The position should report directly to you and should be empowered with the authority to ensure that healthcare.gov is fixed quickly, completely, and permanently.”

Interestingly, the senators are calling for the person in charge of the website to report to Obama, rather than through the usual bureaucratic channels at the Department of Health and Human Services.

Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Mark Warner of Virginia, Chris Coons of Delaware, Mary L. Landrieu of Louisiana, Mark Udall of Colorado and Tim Kaine of Virginia also signed the letter. The full text appears below:

Dear Mr. President:

As supporters of the Affordable Care Act, we have been deeply disappointed and frustrated with the many problems surrounding the law’s rollout, including the initial failure of the healthcare.gov website.

These early missteps are all the more unfortunate because of the potential benefits of the Affordable Care Act. An effective implementation of this law would mean that millions of Americans would no longer be denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions, have to worry about caps on lifetime benefits, or pay a co-pay or deductible to receive preventive services. Women will no longer be charged higher premiums simply because of their gender, young adults can stay on their parents’ plans until they are 26, and those without employer coverage can purchase affordable health insurance on the exchange with subsidies for low and middle-income families.

While we cannot go backward and correct mistakes made, we must now work together to fix the law so that it works for all Americans. To that end, we appreciate that your administration is making a concerted effort to improve the functionality of healthcare.gov, and we commend your decision to appoint Jeffrey Zients to manage this critical project. He has a record of success and strong leadership in the federal government and the private sector, and we agree that Mr. Zients is the right person to lead these efforts. But with Mr. Zients departing to become director of the National Economic Council on January 2nd, we urge you to quickly appoint a replacement and extend the duration of the position until after the 2015 open-enrollment period concludes.

A project of this size and scope demands the sustained leadership and day-to-day management of a chief executive officer – someone whose sole responsibility would be an unrelenting focus on healthcare.gov and who has experience overseeing large and complex consumer-facing technology projects.

The position should report directly to you and should be empowered with the authority to ensure that healthcare.gov is fixed quickly, completely, and permanently.

Like you, we want the Affordable Care Act to succeed and for every American to enjoy the health and cost benefits it can provide, but the law’s success is inextricably tied to the confidence of the American people. Sustaining the steady management focus that this position has already brought to the project would go a long way toward earning back the trust jeopardized by last month’s deeply flawed rollout.

Comments (20)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

author email

  1. Andre Leonard

    Nov. 27, 2013
    9:21 a.m.

    Most of us would rather have a free market nationalized medical delivery model.

    Not Obie-care with a medical czar bureaucrat.

  2. papal

    Nov. 27, 2013
    6 p.m.

    Maybe they should have read the bill. And they try to salvage their careers

  3. Socialism is Evil. Organized.

    Nov. 29, 2013
    3:01 a.m.

    Our creativity, our moral standards, and our use of learned customs and traditions are three of the key differences between mankind and the animals.

  4. Socialism is Evil. Organized.

    Dec. 1, 2013
    1:16 a.m.

    Most scientists realize that we greatly depend upon the whims of genius and circumstance during the voyage toward scientific discovery.

  5. Defend Liberty

    Dec. 1, 2013
    1:53 a.m.

    If we had to wait until things could be made available for everyone, even the relative comfort of today’s poor could have never happened.

  6. Thomas Aquinas

    Dec. 3, 2013
    12:50 a.m.

    Although the notion of uniformity may appear to align with democratic processes, it actually erodes our recognition of individual value.

  7. Thomas Aquinas

    Dec. 3, 2013
    3:24 p.m.

    While the impersonal nature of the natural pecking order may seem unfair, we all benefit when innovations are first tried by others.

  8. Anonymous

    July 4, 2015
    5:56 p.m.

    Great – I should certainly pronounce, impressed with your web site. I had no trouble navigating through all the tabs and related info ended up being truly easy to do to access. I recently found what I hoped for before you know it in the least. Quite unusual. Is likely to appreciate it for those who add forums or anything, web site theme . a tones way for your client to communicate. Nice task..

    http://www.furtdsolinopv.com/

  9. Anonymous

    July 7, 2015
    10:35 a.m.

    Hi there, I discovered your website by way of Google even as looking for a similar matter, your site got here up, it seems to be great. I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

    http://www.sdorttuiiplmnr.com/

  10. Anonymous

    July 8, 2015
    1:34 a.m.

    I think you have remarked some very interesting points, appreciate it for the post.

    https://modules.apache.org/profile.lua?uid=104651

  11. Anonymous

    July 9, 2015
    5:57 a.m.

    I really like your writing style, fantastic info , thankyou for posting : D.

    http://despedidasdesolteraz.weebly.com/blog

  12. Anonymous

    July 12, 2015
    3:19 p.m.

    I got good info from your blog

    http://www.sdorttuiiplmnr.com/

  13. Anonymous

    July 18, 2015
    2:31 a.m.

    I?¦ve been exploring for a little bit for any high quality articles or blog posts in this sort of house . Exploring in Yahoo I ultimately stumbled upon this site. Studying this info So i?¦m glad to convey that I’ve an incredibly excellent uncanny feeling I came upon exactly what I needed. I such a lot unquestionably will make certain to do not fail to remember this web site and give it a look regularly.

    http://mystery.bigmir.net/wiki/index.php?title=Low_Cost_Auto_Insurance_Marianna_Fl

  14. Anonymous

    July 21, 2015
    2:44 a.m.

    Some really quality articles on this internet site, saved to my bookmarks.

    http://lowcostautoquotes.com/home-insurance.html

  15. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    7:39 a.m.

    I think this web site contains some real fantastic info for everyone : D.

    http://split.us

  16. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    7:19 p.m.

    Hi there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after checking through some of the post I realized it’s new to me. Anyhow, I’m definitely delighted I found it and I’ll be bookmarking and checking back frequently!

    https://bestplumbers.com

  17. Anonymous

    July 25, 2015
    7:17 p.m.

    After study a couple of of the blog posts in your website now, and I truly like your method of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark web site listing and might be checking back soon. Pls take a look at my web page as well and let me know what you think.

    http://connect.cleveland.com/user/bat44chord/index.html

  18. Anonymous

    July 28, 2015
    8:34 a.m.

    Oh my goodness! an incredible article dude. Thank you Nonetheless I am experiencing issue with ur rss . Don’t know why Unable to subscribe to it. Is there anyone getting identical rss drawback? Anybody who is aware of kindly respond. Thnkx

    http://www.sdorttuiiplmnr.com/

  19. Anonymous

    July 30, 2015
    5:02 p.m.

    Magnificent beat ! I wish to apprentice while you amend your web site, how can i subscribe for a blog web site? The account helped me a acceptable deal. I had been tiny bit acquainted of this your broadcast offered bright clear concept

    http://stylewithshannon.com/my-social-book-reviews-coupon-discount-turns-your-facebook-into-a-book/

  20. Anonymous

    July 31, 2015
    11:44 a.m.

    hello!,I like your writing very much! share we communicate more about your post on AOL? I need an expert on this area to solve my problem. May be that’s you! Looking forward to see you.

    http://hotel-guitar.pl

Sign In

Forgot password?

Or

Subscribe

Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...