Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius must fix the problems with the HealthCare.gov website or lose her job, Rep. Darrell Issa said Sunday, in advance of hearings in which Sebelius is expected to testify this week about glitches with signing up for health insurance online.
"If she cannot reorganize to get the kind of a team in consistently to meet (President Obama's) agenda, then she shouldn't be there," the California Republican said on CBS' Face the Nation. "When she says she didn't know, why didn't she know that the president's signature legislation was in fact in trouble?
"The president has been poorly served," Issa said. "If somebody doesn't leave, if there isn't a real restructuring — not just a 60-day somebody come in and try to fix it — then he's missing the point of Management 101.''
Last week, the Obama administration brought in Jeffrey Zients, a management consultant, CEO and entrepreneur, to lead the "tech surge" that will fix the site. Zients is a former acting director of the Office of Management and Budget and the first chief performance officer for the White House.
Zients said Friday the site would be fixed by Nov. 30 and all Americans who want to use the exchanges to buy insurance will be able to do so.
The House Energy and Commerce Committee is scheduled to hold hearings on the Obamacare rollout Wednesday. Issa, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, has said he will subpoena information on the insurance marketplaces if he is not able to get information voluntarily, calling the rollout problems "the tip of the iceberg.''
"It's too early to start placing blame," said Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, one of 10 Democratic senators proposing an extension of the March 31 deadline to buy health insurance and avoid paying a penalty.
STORY: Zients: HealthCare.gov problems to be fixed in a month
Despite those assurances, Shaheen said consumers need the extension because they should get the full six months of enrollment they were promised.
"We're already a month in to the marketplaces ... and people are not able to enroll,'' she said on CBS. "I don't want them to feel like they have to be penalized if they can't enroll because the system's not working.''
Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, a Democrat, said Sebelius and Obama are doing the right thing by "taking responsibility for a bad rollout of this website, and they're going to fix it.'' Kentucky is one of 14 states that has created its own online health insurance marketplace. "Take a deep breath. This is a process,'' Beshear said.
The problems with the health care overhaul go beyond online enrollment, Republicans said Sunday, acknowledging that website glitches will eventually be corrected. "They'll eventually fix the website, but that's the easy part,'' Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said on Fox News Sunday.
STORY: Q&A: What to do while HealthCare.gov is in the shop
"The rollout is the least of the problem here. The rollout looks like a disaster but in my state people are going to pay higher costs,'' Ohio Gov. John Kasich said on NBC's Meet the Press.
Kasich, however, bucked his state's Republican-controlled legislature to expand Medicaid, which is a key part of the Affordable Care Act. Instead of going through the legislature, Kasich used a little-known state board to approve the spending of the federal Medicaid money that would pay for Ohio's part of the expansion. Kasich called the Medicaid expansion "a good deal" for Ohio.