Alexander, 8 Other GOP Senators Ask Obama To Fire Sebelius

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The senior Republican on the Senate health committee today joined nine of his Republican Senate colleagues in sending a letter to President Obama requesting that he “immediately relieve Secretary Sebelius of her duties as Secretary of Health and Human Services.”


Senator Lamar Alexander said, “When you have good management and you have clear accountability, you usually get something done right—but in the rollout of this health care law, we have had neither.

Millions of Americans are losing their policies because of this law but are unable to find new policies because the website won’t work. It is time for the President to ask the Secretary of Health and Human Services to resign.”


Senator Alexander called for Secretary Sebelius to resign on Oct. 29, saying, “Expecting this secretary to be able to fix in a few weeks what she has not been able to fix during the last three and one half years is unrealistic. It is throwing good money after bad.”


Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), who led his colleagues in his sending the letter, was joined by Senators Alexander, John Cornyn (R-Texas), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), James Risch (R-Idaho), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), and Rand Paul (R-Ky.).


The full text of the letter is below:


November 7, 2013


President Barack Obama

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.

Washington, DC  20500


Dear Mr. President:


            We write today to formally request that you immediately relieve Secretary Sebelius of her duties as Secretary of Health and Human Services.


After the failed October 1 launch of the federally-run Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) exchanges,, it must be acknowledged that the problems are profound, systemic and undeniable. The website repeatedly crashed. Many visitors were unable to create accounts. Individuals have reported waiting for days to register online and being put on hold for hours after calling the 1-800 helpline. Even after visitors create accounts, they are often unable to access accurate information about subsidies and Medicaid eligibility.  And when a user does select an insurance plan, insurers have reported that transmits error-filled applications to the insurance companies.  In addition, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) officials will not report how many individuals or families have been able to enroll in a plan on


Regrettably, these problems were diagnosed early and ignored. The New York Times reports, “Confidential progress reports from the Health and Human Services Department show that senior officials repeatedly expressed doubts that the computer systems for the federal exchange would be ready on time” (From the Start, Signs of Trouble at Health Portal, October 12, 2013). The Government Accountability Office also issued warnings in June that HHS had to address many issues in a very short timeframe before theOctober 1 rollout. The contractor “status report” from early September warned that significant milestones were being missed and that timeframes were too short. Tests done just days before the launch reportedly showed the computer systems couldn't handle more than a few hundred hits at a time. However, the Secretary refused to give credence to these warnings. 

In the days immediately following the launch, when it was apparent that problems were deep-seeded, Secretary Sebelius misled the public by claiming the issues were the result of high volume. According to her statements to the press, she even failed to inform you, the President under whom she serves, until days after the website launch that there were systemic problems needing millions more dollars and man hours to fix.

            There is bipartisan agreement that accountability is paramount. Your former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said, “When they get it fixed, I hope they fire some people that were in charge of making sure that this thing was supposed to work.”


While assurances have been made that solutions are forthcoming, we have little confidence that immediate resolution is imminent. After spending more than $400 million on the failed website, taxpayers should not trust the same failed leadership to fix it. We believe that action must be taken swiftly to protect the American people from further fallout. If a similar rollout from any other national company or private sector business resulted in overwhelming and sustained problems, a high profile dismissal would be expected and appropriate.


Even worse, millions of Americans will lose their existing coverage starting January 1, 2014, because it does not meet new Obamacare requirements.  These people could be left without any insurance at all if the exchange systems are not working soon.


            For these reasons, we ask that you relieve Secretary Sebelius of her position as Secretary of Health and Human Services immediately.

Catoosa County Arrest Report For Nov. 20-26

Click  here  for the Catoosa County arrest report for Nov. 13-19. (click for more)

Fort Oglethorpe Arrest Report For Nov. 20-26

Here is the Fort Oglethorpe for Nov. 20-26: Robin Jean Thrasher, 49, of 3301 58th Avenue North, St. Petersburg, Florida was arrested November 20 on charges of driving while license revoked and driving under the influence of drugs. Elias Garcia, 21, of 4034 12th Avenue, Chattanooga was arrested November 21 on charges of driving within a gore or median and driving while license ... (click for more)

City Council, Please Reconsider On The 7-Story Apartment Variance

I would like to thank the Regional Planning Commission and the Regional Planning Agency   for denying the recent application for a variance from the current zoning requirements in place for the 1200 block of Cowart Street. The developers want to build a 7-story parking deck with 141 efficiency and one-bedroom apartments wrapped around three sides in an area with a 48' height ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Garden In December

As the fallen leaves confirm today is the first of December, my monthly walk in life’s garden is more foggy than fun. In much-older times, good children would get a piece of candy on Christmas Day while bad ones would receive a lump of coal. So here are some things that deserve a helping of both: A PIECE OF CANDY to the amazingly few who can spy a nest of mistletoe high in area ... (click for more)

No 1 Connecticut Overwhelms Lady Mocs, 79-31

At least 6,104 basketball enthusiasts got to see what the best women’s college basketball team in the country looks like Monday night at McKenzie Arena. The three-time defending national champion Connecticut Huskies won for the fourth time this season and 41 st game in a row with an impressive 79-31 victory over the Chattanooga Lady Mocs before the seventh-largest crowd in ... (click for more)

Mocs Fall 64-54 At ULM

The Chattanooga Mocs (5-2) five-game-in-10-day road show ended Monday night with a 64-54 loss at ULM (3-2). The squad shot a season-low 35.3 percent (18-51) in the loss. "I felt like we had good shots, especially in the first half,” coach Matt McCall said. “We were getting down the lane and guys were just flat out missing layups. Everyone for the most part was getting in the ... (click for more)