White House: Obama has ‘complete confidence’ in Sebelius

White House spokesman Josh Earnest on Wednesday said that President Obama has “complete confidence” in embattled Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen SebeliusKathleen Sebelius Senate outlook slides for GOP CNN to feature teen climate activist Greta Thunberg in coronavirus town hall Jerry Moran: 'I wouldn't be surprised' if Pompeo ran for Senate in Kansas MORE.


Speaking to reporters en route to Obama’s healthcare speech in Boston, Earnest ticked off a list of Sebelius’s HealthCare.gov-related accomplishments, from implementing the consumer protections in the Affordable Care Act, to the policy work surrounding the individual marketplaces.

Earnest said Sebelius deserves credit for some of these achievements, rather than just blame for what has gone wrong.

“So she certainly is responsible for the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, and she took responsibility for many of the problems that are evident with the website,” he said, according to the pool report. “But she also deserves credit for the other aspects of the Affordable Care Act implementation process that has gone well.”

On Wednesday, Sebelius for the first time apologized for the troubled rollout. The ObamaCare website has been plagued by dozens of technical issues, which have made it difficult for many consumers to log on or register for an account.

Dozens of Republicans have called for Sebelius to resign, but on Wednesday, she struck a conciliatory note, apologizing and saying she takes all the blame for the bungled launch.

Earnest said he didn’t know whether Obama watched her testimony but said he heard from others in the administration that she performed admirably.

“Others at the White House did have a chance to watch portions of her testimony and thought she did a very good job of explaining … the efforts that are underway to fix the website and the efforts that are underway to continue the implementation of the Affordable Care Act to make sure that, for the first time, people all across the country, or at least for millions of people all across the country, that they’ll have access to quality, affordable health insurance,” he said.