Government Watch

‘Train Wreck Coming’: Sebelius Can’t Give Sen. Baucus Details on Obamacare Launch

From CNSNews – by Susan Jones –

In testimony before the Senate Finance Committee Wednesday, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius couldn’t give specific answers to simple questions about the implementation of Obamacare.

Committee chair Max Baucus — a Democrat who helped write the bill — told the secretary he sees a “train wreck coming.”

“I mean, you need data…you’ve never given me any data, you just give me concepts, frankly. And government’s not a business, but you’re going to have to have some data — benchmarks — to figure out what progress you are or are not making,” Baucus said.

Sebelius said there are “some very specific benchmarks around open enrollment,” a reference the health care exchanges where individuals and small businesses will be able to shop for and compare health insurance plans.

She said the Health and Human Services Department has a “campaign and a plan to lead up to open enrollment.”

“What is it? The campaign and the plan?” Baucus interrupted.

“Well, Mr. Chairman, as we have discussed, there will be people on the ground, starting this summer.”

“How many?” Baucus asked.

“Um, I can’t tell you at this point.”

“At what point in the summer?”


“Geographically, what states? This is the kind of information I’m asking for,” Baucus said. “You’re only going to be able to do a decent job if you know the answer to these questions.”

A few minutes earlier, Baucus told Sebelius that small business owners have no idea what to expect from Obamacare.

“They don’t know what the affordability rules are. They don’t know what penalties may apply. They just don’t know. I was talking to one CPA, you know, he’s not histrionic, he’s just straight with me. He said, ‘Max, I gotta tell ya. My clients, small buinsess peole, are just (ready to) throw their hands up, and I don’t know what to tell them.’ And that’s just from the small business perspective.”

Baucus said people are confused.

“I just have to tell ya — I just see a huge train wreck coming down. And I’ve discussed this many times, and I don’t see the results yet.”

Sebelius, in response, expressed disappointment that the continuing resolution of 2013 (which funds the government in the absense of appropriations bills) did not include additional funds for outreach and education. “Having said that, we have engaged in efforts with the small business administration, who is doing regular meetings around the country with our regional personnel.”

Sebelius also talked about “on the ground navigators,” people who will be trained to answer questions about navigating the health care exchanges.

Open enrollment begins on Oct. 1 and enrollment begins on Jan. 1

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7 years ago

Good lord….didn’t anyone proof read this before it went to print?

7 years ago

ObamaCare has created the new normal of the PT worker as well. PT = NO FINES. This person will not qualify for benefits and won’t be able to afford the new insurance plans. Rationing of care is for real! Start with the Medicaid expansion…doctors are rejecting taking Medicaid because of the low reimbursements. Having Medicaid…but no doctor’s taking it…thats a good deal. MEDICARE reimbursements are being cut back due to ObamaCare…this is what Romney was talking about ($715 Billion) and so now Physicians are not taking new Medicare patients…keep your doctor and don’t travel! HHS announced that Out of Network… Read more »

Al Moon
7 years ago

Is there any way Obama could be impeached for mismanagement? The truth must be told to the American people. The obama people are saying that inflation is at 2%; but we all know that the inflation rate has to be closer to 10%, if not higher. Will Amac look into the way the inflation rate use to be figured back in the 1960’s and compare that to how the government figures it today? When Amac finds that out, can the difference be told to the American people? It’s time to make that known. Can Amac come up with some numbers… Read more »

Georgia {Danly}
7 years ago

Cancel Obmacare that would help and put the money they took from medicare back.

7 years ago

This is all PETRIFYING. I am 65 and retired and my Husband is 58 and a Union member who has excellent health insurance, which I am part of. We have seen our deductibles skyrocket 150% in the last 1-1/2 years as Aetna prepares for this awful government healthcare. I am on Medicare A/B as a secondary, but never plan to use it if I do not have to and right now, all this is very daunting. Just the very thought of sharing MORE personal information with this out-of-control government, simply petrifies me. I am doing everything I can politically, by… Read more »

Ed Terry
7 years ago

The IRS is already creating their own definitions, they are after tax money and will use ObamaCare aka AFCA, to raid the coffers of any company they feel does not comply. This is not going to be a train wreck, it will be worse than the IED’s used at the Boston Marathon, followed by the fertilizer plan fire and explosion in West, TX. America does not have a chance unless this albatross is flushed and totally reversed.

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