By Jonathan Easley - 11/06/13 11:25 AM EST
Sen. Bill NelsonBill NelsonMore automakers admit to equipping new cars with defective airbags GOP warming up to Cuba travel How the new aviation law will affect your travel MORE lashed out Wednesday at the contractors charged with building the ObamaCare website.
Addressing Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen SebeliusKathleen SebeliusFighting for assisted living facilities The chaotic fight for ObamaCare California exchange CEO: Insurers ‘throwing ObamaCare under the bus’ MORE at a Senate Finance Committee hearing, Nelson (D-Fla.) said the contractors should be held to account for the site’s disastrous launch. [WATCH VIDEO]
“As someone who has fought and bled for this … I want you to hold them to account,” Nelson said. “I want you to burn their fingers and make them pay for not being responsible and producing a product that all of us could be proud of.”
Nelson asked Sebelius if she had any legal authority to withhold payments from the contractors.
“We have paid out a portion of the money that has been encumbered for the website build out,” Sebelius said. “It clearly is not up and running at a sufficient level at this point.”
Sebelius said she was “working with our auditors and our teams to make sure as bills come in, they are clearly reviewed, and we have the opportunity to make sure the product we need … is delivered.”
Last month, Sebelius apologized for the botched ObamaCare website in testimony to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, but she also assigned blame to a “subset” of contractors who she said “have not met expectations.”
Four of the primary contractors testified in front of the same committee last month. They said the government is to blame for the botched rollout because they weren’t given enough time to test the site.