Secretary of Health & Human Services Kathleen Sebelius will not resign her position despite Republican demands, the New York Times reports.
Several Republicans have called for Sebelius' resignation in light of problems with the rollout of the online health insurance exchanges, FierceHealthcare previously reported. Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) said the glitches demonstrated Sebelius' "gross incompetence" and that a change in leadership was needed. Rep. John Fleming (R-La.) called for Sebelius to either resign or be fired. "Taxpayers should not have to tolerate this kind of waste and incompetence," he said, according to the Times.
Former Obama White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs also said on MSNBC this week that he "hope[s] they fire some people" over the "excruciatingly embarrassing" glitches, although he did not name Sebelius specifically.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Sebelius had "the full confidence of the president," according to the Times article.
Meanwhile, Sebelius urged users who had trouble with the HealthCare.gov website to try enrolling again. "I am the first to admit that the launch was rockier than we would have liked," she told reporters, according to Deseret News. However, she emphasized that the site was "up and running."
"Prices don't change and the product doesn't run out," she said, according to the article.
Sebelius also defended the government's decision not to delay the website's launch and said that the glitches demonstrated the demand, according to the Columbus Dispatch.
"I think people have waited for decades for affordable health care," she said in the Dispatch article. "We had a responsibility to get that product to them as quickly as possible." The site, she said, crashed because of millions of people trying to use it. "I think it shows there's pent-up demand," she said. "Waiting for another season would be totally unfair to those who have been desperate for affordable health care."