WASHINGTON - U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas has called on former Kansas Governor and current Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to resign over the failures of the 11-day-old computerized health-insurance exchange system mandated by the Affordable Care Act.
Roberts said in a statement that Sebelius should resign "for gross incompetence leading to the complete failure of the exchange to enroll millions of Americans in health care plans as promised."
There was no immediate response to telephone, email and web-form inquiries seeking a response from Sebelius at HHS.
"From the very beginning of the bill's passage, I have said this cannot work," Roberts said in his statement. "Just over 90 days ago in the GOP weekly radio address to the nation, I warned the American people that the exchanges were not going to be ready. In fact, I introduced legislation to end the exchanges and sunset the individual mandate if they were not ready as promised on Oct. 1.
"Today we know, the problems with the exchanges are systematic, profound and indisputable," Roberts said. "And yet the Secretary won't shoot straight with the American people."
Roberts ripped Sebelius for her appearance Monday, Oct. 7, on Jon Stewart's "The Daily Show."
"Sebelius' refusal to own up to Obamacare's failures was on full display to the American people when she appeared on Stewart's ‘The Daily Show,'" Roberts said. "While the Secretary would not say how many people had successfully enrolled or why the problems in the implementation had not triggered a delay for individuals, Sebelius continued to maintain, ‘the great news is we have a terrific market.'"
"In the absence of a full repeal of Obamacare, which is my preference, we need new leadership from top to bottom. I am calling on the Secretary to resign," Roberts declared.
Sen. Roberts is a member of the two Senate panels with jurisdiction over the Affordable Care Act -- the Finance and the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committees.