Tom Bevan thinks so.
“Any corporation that allowed a COO to mismanage a new product line as important to its image as the Affordable Care Act is to Obama’s would be contemplating their severance package,” writes the Executive Editor of RealClearPolitics.
“The fact that Republicans haven’t called for Sebelius’ scalp should tell Democrats all they need to know about how much conservatives think she is hurting Obamacare’s cause. If the president cares about rescuing his signature policy initiative, he should consider putting it under new management right away.”
Though cathartic, I’m not sure Bevan’s idea helps the GOP all that much.
True, if Obama fired Sebelius it would touch off a huge confirmation battle over her successor as Secretary of Health and Human Services, the agency overseeing Obamacare’s implementation. But since Democrats control the Senate, confirmation would be won eventually.
Better, I think, to schedule a series of high-profile congressional hearings to grill Sebelius, her deputies and the contractors responsible for the glitch-heavy federal insurance exchange website. Sebelius is fast-becoming the bureaucratic face of Obamacare – let her try to defend it.
The tone coming from House GOP members should be sharp but measured. Already, Speaker John Boehner has used a line that would be devastating to repeat to every pro-Obamacare witness at every hearing:
“How can we tax people for not buying a product from a website that doesn’t work?”
Then there are the simple questions Sebelius couldn’t answer in a cringe-inducing appearance on The Daily Show.
Host Jon Stewart – an Obamacare supporter who thinks America deserves a single-payer system – got no good answers from Sebelius about why Healthcare.gov stinks and businesses get a one year mandate delay but individuals do not.
In response, Sebelius said – without a shred of evidence – that the site is getting better, and that individuals can delay the mandate, so long as they pay a fine.
If that’s the best she can do with a friendly host, imagine the possibilities under good cross-examination at a House hearing.
No, Obama shouldn’t fire Sebelius until House Republicans get a chance to turn up the heat.