Dems press Sebelius to speed up Obama health law implementation

Senate Democrats raised concerns about the implementation of President Obama's signature healthcare law during closed-door meetings this week with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen SebeliusKathleen SebeliusJohn Roberts has tough job of keeping faith in Supreme Court Price was a disaster for HHS — Time for an administrator, not an ideologue Trump says he's unhappy with Price MORE.

Sebelius met Thursday morning with the Senate Finance Committee, following a series of one-on-one meetings with committee members on Wednesday.

Senators said they pressed Sebelius on the status of the implementation effort — including delays in some their favorite projects.

"I've got real issues with some of the things they're doing over there, on rules and regulations and timing," Sen. Jay RockefellerJay RockefellerOvernight Tech: Trump nominates Dem to FCC | Facebook pulls suspected baseball gunman's pages | Uber board member resigns after sexist comment Trump nominates former FCC Dem for another term Obama to preserve torture report in presidential papers MORE (D-W.Va.) said.

ADVERTISEMENT
Rockefeller said he wasn't satisfied with some of the answers he received, but that he also recognizes the monumental task of implementing such a massive law.

"She was getting bombarded a lot, and all of a sudden I wanted to say, 'Whoa.' You go take that job," Rockefeller said.

This week's meetings follow a Finance Committee hearing last month in which several Democrats similarly raised issues with the implementation effort.

Sen. Maria CantwellMaria Elaine CantwellDemocrats scramble to contain Franken fallout  FCC rolls back media regulations in move that critics say benefits Sinclair Steps Congress can take to save affordable housing in tax reform MORE (D-Wash.) met one-on-one with Sebelius on Wednesday, where she pressed the secretary on the lack of progress toward implementing the law's Basic Health Program — an option to help states provide care to low-income people.

Cantwell said there doesn't appear to be any new progress since she asked the secretary about the program last month.

Rockefeller and several other senators who met with Sebelius declined to discuss the specific issues they raised.

Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchProminent conservative passes on Utah Senate bid Republicans offer this impossible choice: Tax cuts or senior care Senate GOP running out of options to stop Moore MORE (R-Utah), the committee's top Republican and a staunch critic of the healthcare law, said Sebelius was responsive to his questions but he still has serious concerns about certain policies.

Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonReport: FCC chair to push for complete repeal of net neutrality Collins: Pass bipartisan ObamaCare bills before mandate repeal Democrats scramble to contain Franken fallout  MORE (D-Fla.) said only that the meeting was "wonderful" and about "everything."