(WIBW) - Once elected from the same pool of voters, a Kansas Senator is now calling on a former Kansas Governor to resign her presidential cabinet post.
Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, issued a statement Friday saying Kathleen Sebelius should step down as Health and Human Services Secretary.
Roberts says the first 11 days of enrollment in the new health care exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act have been "disastrous." Roberts statement says the situation shows "gross incompetence."
“How long do we let this failed exchange continue to operate?" Roberts asked in his statement. “Today we know, the problems with the exchanges are systematic, profound and indisputable, (and) yet the Secretary won’t shoot straight with the American people.
Roberts statement refers to Sebelius' appearance on The Daily Show this week, when host Jon Stewart pressed her on how many people had successfully enrolled in the exchanges and she could not provide a number.
Sebelius told Stewart the numbers will be released on a monthly basis. She also says it is a good marketplace.
In a column for USA Today earlier this week, Sebelius wrote, "Nobody wants Americans to have to wait to sign up. Engineers are working day and night to make upgrades. We're adding more servers to enable the system to handle larger loads. And we're upgrading our software as well to make the system more efficient and enable it to handle higher volumes."
Complete news release from Sen. Pat Roberts:
Eleven days after the disastrous launch of the Obamacare exchanges, U.S. Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) today called on the Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius to resign for gross incompetence leading to the complete failure of the exchange to enroll millions of Americans in health care plans as promised.
“How long do we let this failed exchange continue to operate? From the very beginning of the bill’s passage, I have said this cannot work. Just over 90 days ago in the GOP weekly radio address to the nation, I warned the American people that the exchanges were not going to be ready. In fact, I introduced legislation to end the exchanges and sunset the individual mandate if they were not ready as promised on October 1.
“Today we know, the problems with the exchanges are systematic, profound and indisputable,” Roberts said. “And yet the Secretary won’t shoot straight with the American people.
“This week, Sebelius continued wasting taxpayer dollars on advertising and promotional tours. This included failed rallies at NFL stadiums and appearances on comedy shows to promote enrollment while at the same time, Americans were unable to sign up for healthcare plans as promised. Even Jon Stewart didn’t think it was a laughing matter.”
Sebelius’ refusal to own up to Obamacare’s failures was on full display to the American people when she appeared on Stewart’s The Daily Show. While the Secretary would not say how many people had successfully enrolled or why the problems in the implementation had not triggered a delay for individuals, Sebelius continued to maintain, “the great news is we have a terrific market.”
Roberts continued, “Just today, one of my Kansas newspapers, The Wichita Eagle, summed it up best by writing, ‘that market is worthless when it’s like a grocery store that blocks shoppers at various points along the aisles and lacks functioning checkout counters.’”
“In the absence of a full repeal of Obamacare, which is my preference, we need new leadership from top to bottom. I am calling on the Secretary to resign,” Roberts declared.
“Everything we warned about has come to pass. Americans are tired of the Sebelius spin. They can see Obamacare has failed them. We need a Secretary who can admit when enough is enough.
“The American people should not have to tolerate the chaos of the exchange, or the ill effects of Obamacare for one more day. They are already suffering in a terrible economy. They have higher taxes, higher premiums and great uncertainty about access to quality healthcare. We need a Secretary who realizes that.”
Senator Roberts is a member of the two committees with jurisdiction on Obamacare, the Senate Finance Committee and the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. He is an outspoken opponent of Obamacare.