Heckuva Job: Top Obamacare Official Steps Down

Guy Benson
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Posted: Jan 16, 2015 4:37 PM
Heckuva Job: Top Obamacare Official Steps Down

Sebelius peaced out last spring after a truly calamitous tenure at HHS, and now it's time for Ms. Tavenner to follow suit:

The leader of the agency charged with the ObamaCare rollout is stepping down after five years on the job. Marilyn Tavenner, administrator of the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS), announced her departure Friday, which will take effect next month. "It is with sadness and mixed emotions that I write to tell you that February will be my last month serving as the administrator for CMS," Tavenner wrote in an email to staff. Tavenner is leaving after five turbulent years overseeing the agency. Her tenure included the disastrous rollout of the government’s HealthCare.gov website as well as, most recently, an inflated tally of total ObamaCare enrollment. Republicans on the House Oversight Committee last month grilled Tavenner about the miscount, which had helped push the first-year enrollment total for ObamaCare past 7 million — a milestone that was celebrated by the administration at the time. Tavenner said some figures were “inadvertently” double-counted, an explanation that was greeted with deep skepticism from Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), whose staff identified the error. “Tavenner had to go,” Issa wrote Friday in a statement provided first to The Hill.

Yes, this is a lady who took a lead role in coordinating the historic Obamacare implementation fiasco, and whose organization was caught "accidentally" inflating enrollment numbers. Without the falsified numbers, the White House failed to meet its 2013/2014 new enrollment goal (despite counting the millions of consumers who were forced off of existing plans into Obamacre coverage as "newly enrolled"), and have massively downgraded their latest projections. Normal people might read that paragraph and appropriately respond, "wait, she still has her job?"  But this is DC, and the Obama administration generally doesn't fire people for incompetence.  Meanwhile, Bloomberg is the latest media outlet to report on the migraines that await many Obamacare consumers at tax time:

Obamacare is about to collide with the U.S. tax-filing season, adding frustration for millions of taxpayers trying to figure out how to comply and how much they will owe the government. Tax filing for 2014 opens Jan. 20. The biggest change for most taxpayers is on Line 61 of Form 1040: a box to check if you have health insurance and a tax to pay if you don’t. Millions who received insurance through Obamacare’s exchanges will have a more complicated set of calculations to complete. “There’s going to be tons of questions and confusion and uncertainty and complexity,” said Kathy Pickering, executive director of the Tax Institute, the research and analysis division of H&R Block Inc. (HRB) “We still have a lot of questions.” ... “People are going to absolutely be blindsided,” said Steve Mankowski, a partner at EP Caine & Associates in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, who is chairman of the National Conference of CPA Practitioners’ tax-policy committee. “It can take someone from getting a refund to owing money.”

So tax professionals are still confused about the freight train speeding at their employees and clients, with some warning about how "absolutely blindsided" many people will be. How comforting.  The IRS -- which is still being led by this man, by the way -- has warned that new Obamacare complications and Republican-orchestrated budget cuts will result in worse customer service than usual this year.