Sebelius: "Hold me accountable for the debacle" of


Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Wednesday offered the Obama administration's second formal apology to the American people for, the dysfunctional Obamacare website.

"You deserve better, I aplogize," Sebelius said to the public in her opening remarks to the House Energy and Commerce Committee. "I'm accountable to you... I'm committed to earning your confidence back by fixing the site."

The secretary acknowledged that since launched on Oct. 1, the experience of trying to sign up for a private insurance plan on the site has been "miserably frustrating" for many people. She assured the committee and the public that "we have a plan in place" to fix the site and reiterated the administration's promise to have it working for the vast majority of visitors by the end of November.

Sebelius said that even though the site isn't "fully functioning," consumers are using it "every day" and they have "plenty of time" to sign up -- the open enrollment period lasts through the end of March.

Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., asked Sebelius who is "responsible for this debacle," to which Sebelius replied, "Hold me accountable for the debacle. I'm responsible."

Sebelius at the top of the hearing strayed from her prepared opening statement, which offered no apology for the botched website rollout and blamed the problems on the private contractors who built it for its problems.

"To build the Marketplace, CMS [the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services] used private sector contractors, just as it does to administer aspects of Medicare," Sebelius' prepared testimony said. "CMS has a track record of successfully overseeing the many contractors our programs depend on to function. Unfortunately, a subset of those contracts for have not met expectations."

She is falling on the sword to protect der leader....and blames the contractors along the way.