President Obama will name a new individual to oversee the ObamaCare website after the departure of Jeffrey Zients at the end of the year, the White House said Monday.
"That is an important role and we have seen in the way that Jeff has worked in that role that kind of management position needs to be filled," press secretary Jay Carney said at his afternoon briefing.
Zients was appointed last month to oversee repairs to the website after a botched rollout plagued by technical glitches prevented many consumers from purchasing coverage through the ObamaCare exchanges. But before taking the position, Zients had been appointed the incoming director of the National Economic Council — a job he's slated to take over in the new year.
The White House's decision to name a successor to Zients comes after Senate Democrats penned a letter to Obama last week calling for a permanent "chief executive officer" to oversee the ObamaCare website.
In a letter sent to the White House last Tuesday, the seven Senate Democrats say the position should report directly to the president and be “empowered with the authority to ensure that HealthCare.gov is fixed quickly, completely, and permanently.”
The letter, from Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Mark Warner (Va.), Chris Coons (Del.), Mary Landrieu (La.), Mark Udall (Colo.) and Tim Kaine (Va.), says that establishing such a position "would go a long way toward earning back the trust jeopardized by last month’s deeply flawed rollout.”
"A project of this size and scope demands the sustained leadership and day-to-day management of a chief executive officer — someone whose sole responsibility would be an unrelenting focus on healthcare.gov and who has experience overseeing large and complex consumer-facing technology projects," the lawmakers added.
Carney was mum on details of what the position would look like in the new year, however, merely saying it was Obama's "intention" to keep someone in the job.
"I don't have any information on what the structure of that will look like," Carney said.