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Cal Thomas: Kethleen Sebelius, scapegoat

Oklahoman Published: April 16, 2014
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Dictionary.com offers two definitions for scapegoat: “1. A person or group made to bear the blame for others or to suffer in their place; 2. Chiefly biblical. A goat let loose in the wilderness on Yom Kippur after the high priest symbolically laid the sins of the people on its head. Lev. 16:8,10,26.”

Both definitions seem to fit last week’s announcement of the “resignation” of Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of Health and Human Services, who presided over the disastrous rollout of the government’s website, healthcare.gov, which was supposed to provide easy access for people who wished to sign up for Obamacare.

It wasn’t entirely Sebelius’ fault, though her experience with a website when she was governor of Kansas should have sounded alarm bells. As The Daily Caller website reported last October, “Sebelius oversaw numerous costly and disastrous government website projects during her six-year governorship ... including a failed update of the Department of Labor’s program to provide unemployment pay and other services and similar updates pertaining to the Department of Administration and the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles services.”

Kansas Labor Secretary Karin Brownlee told the Daily Caller about this: “In the Kansas Senate, I chaired the Commerce committee. We had oversight over the Department of Labor. For years, we watched as the Department of Labor under Sebelius worked on that computer program. After seven years and $50 million, something should work.”

When you’re spending taxpayer money, apparently successful outcomes is not a requirement.

Sebelius was tasked with putting the square peg of government into the round hole of free enterprise and competition. It didn’t work in Washington any better than it did in Kansas. The problem wasn’t just the Obamacare website. The problem was, and remains, Obamacare itself.

Those who have been paying attention know that the administration’s claim to have signed up more than 7 million people during the open enrollment period is bogus when one-fifth of those who are counted as “enrolled” have not paid their premiums. Costs have escalated, possibly discouraging new customers. Only 14 percent of those who have enrolled in Obamacare were previously uninsured, according to a McKinsey management consulting firm report cited by Forbes magazine.

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