Nation Shocked to Learn Kathleen Sebelius Hadn’t Resigned a While Ago

by Jim Geraghty

From the last Morning Jolt until the Monday after Easter:

Nation Shocked to Learn Kathleen Sebelius Hadn’t Resigned a While Ago

News that is surprising only in that it took this long:

Kathleen Sebelius, who oversaw the bug-ridden rollout of a federal health insurance program that she herself called “miserably frustrating,” is resigning as secretary of Health and Human Service… Sebelius told Obama of her intentions in early March, a White House official said.

Man . . . everything this woman does gets delayed.

This is actually long past the point of having much consequence. The news is clear that Sebelius is resigning, not that she’s being fired, and there’s not even much sense that the president wanted this or thought it was an appropriate consequence for how Obamacare’s rollout proceeded on her watch.

“The White House official said that President Obama was ‘deeply grateful’ for Sebelius’ service.” Why? What would she have to do for him to not be grateful for her service?

The example has already been set. A month ago I wrote about the dysfunctional federal bureaucracy and noted, “The managers of the worst offenders rarely if ever are held accountable, and, as we’ve seen, apparently no scandal is sufficient to warrant firing a cabinet secretary. If Sebelius escaped consequence for failure, why should anyone below her worry, or anyone in any other branch of the federal bureaucracy?”

And of course, she had to offer at least one more lie on the way out the door:

On March 31, Sebelius joined HuffPost Live’s Alyona Minkovski to discuss the Affordable Care Act sign-up deadline. When asked if she would still be part of the Obamacare effort in November, Sebelius said she “absolutely” would.

When prompted a second time to confirm her intention to remain with the administration, Sebelius declared, “I’m in.”

A lot of people chuckled over Ezra Klein’s declaration, “Kathleen Sebelius is resigning because Obamacare has won.”

How many people will call 96 doctor’s offices and find they’re not taking new patients or they’re not accepting the insurance plan they purchased through the exchange?

A gentle reminder: health insurance does not become health care until you can find a doctor to treat you.

Nearly 20 percent of Americans live in areas with an insufficient number of primary care doctors. Sixteen percent live in areas with too few dentists and a whopping 30 percent are in areas that are short of mental health providers. Under federal guidelines, there should be no more than 3,500 people for each primary care provider; no more than 5,000 people for each dental provider; and no more than 30,000 people for each mental health provider.

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), unless something changes rapidly, there will be a shortage of 45,000 primary care doctors in the United States (as well as a shortfall of 46,000 specialists) by 2020.

In some ways, the shortage of providers is worse than the numbers indicate. Many primary care doctors and dentists do not accept Medicaid patients because of low reimbursement rates, and many of the newly insured will be covered through Medicaid. Many psychiatrists refuse to accept insurance at all.

Does Obamacare still “win” if you get an insurance plan and you get a doctor? Because you sure as heck don’t!

Heck of a job, Sebbie!

The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.