HHS pick selected to ‘spin the numbers’?

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) on Sunday said that the resignation of Kathleen Sebelius as Health and Human Services secretary will increase the controversy over ObamaCare.


Blackburn, who attended the New Hampshire Freedom Summit that attracted potential GOP presidential candidates on Saturday, said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that the resignation has only elevated concerns.

The Tennessee Republican called White House budget director Sylvia Mathews Burwell, President Obama’s pick to replace Sebelius at HHS, an “interesting choice.”

“I think there are many of us and probably a bit of a growing consensus that they know they've got a math problem with ObamaCare,” Blackburn said. “And the numbers are not going to work out so that the program is actuarially sound. And they're going to have to have somebody to kind of spin the numbers.

“And this is something with Burwell coming from OMB, I think they're expecting her to be able to do for them. How many of these seven million people have paid? How many actually signed up and paid and completed the process? How many got subsidies? How many are on Medicaid? How many are young? You know, if those numbers don't work out exactly right, they've got a big funding issue on their hands,” Blackburn added.

Blackburn predicted that Republicans will continue efforts to repeal and replace the president’s signature healthcare reform law.

Blackburn also rejected the suggestion that Republicans are against equal pay for women.

“You know, I find ... this ‘war on women’ rhetoric just almost silly. It is Republicans that have led the fight for women's equality,” she said.

Blackburn said Republicans blocked the Paycheck Fairness Act in the Senate last week because it was “going to be helpful for trial lawyers.”

“And what we would like to see happen is equal opportunity and clearing up some of the problems that exist that are not fair to women,” Blackburn said. “We're all for equal pay. I would love for women to be focused on maximum wage. And I have fought to be recognized with equality for a long time. A lot of us get tired of guys condescending to us.

“But, you know, I gotta tell you, one of the things that we need to do is look at access to capital, small business owners that are female,” she added. “That is their number one problem is access to capital. We need to also look at regulations, how that is affecting them.

“ObamaCare has been very unfair to women. We hear a good bit about this,” Blackburn said.

Appearing on the same show, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) said Republicans "seem to be very much against" equal pay.

"Keep in mind, ... that white women are making 77 cents for every dollar a man makes. African American women and Hispanic women, 64 cents and 54 cents respectively. There's something absolutely wrong with that picture," he said.

--This report was updated at 12:16 p.m.