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CMS official who oversaw Obamacare rollout is retiring

CMS official who oversaw Obamacare rollout is retiring

An official from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services who helped oversee the rollout of is retiring, according to the NY Times.

The No. 2 official at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, who supervised the troubled rollout of President Obama’s health care law, is retiring, administration officials said Monday.

The official, Michelle Snyder, is the agency’s chief operating officer, in charge of day-to-day activities and the allocation of resources, including budget and personnel.

Technology experts who built the website for the federal insurance exchange,, reported to her.

Ms. Snyder is the second administration official to depart since problems with the website frustrated millions of people trying to buy insurance and caused acute political embarrassment to Mr. Obama.

The chief information officer at the Medicare agency, Tony Trenkle, stepped down in November to take a job in the private sector.

Marilyn B. Tavenner, the administrator of the Medicare agency, said Ms. Snyder was retiring this week “after 41 years of outstanding public service.”

Snyder’s name came up in congressional hearings in October.

As lawmakers pressed with questions, Cheryl Campbell, senior vice president at CGI Federal, a primary contractor on the project, indicated that Snyder was a key decision maker from CMS on the project.

And HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius initially mentioned Snyder as a key resource in overseeing the project, but quickly clarified and took responsibility herself when pressed further about the project’s shortcomings.

From CNN:

Answering questions at an October congressional hearing, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Snyder was the person in charge of the CMS team overseeing the website.

“So Michelle Snyder is the one responsible for the debacle,” Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tennessee, said.

But Sebelius clarified: “Excuse me, congresswoman, Michelle Snyder is not responsible for the debacle. Hold me accountable. I’m responsible.”

CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner indicated that Snyder was prepared to retire in 2012 but stayed on at Tavenner’s request to help with the agency’s work expected in 2013, according to the NY Times.


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The biggest problem with the website is the product it is trying to sell, not the technology behind it. The bungling of the website is simply a manifestation of the larger problem that political expediency is more important than doing things the right way.

Everyone associated with this project has been a complete incompetent, but they all assumed that at some point competent managers would take over and see it all through.

Very wrong assumption. There are no competent managers in this Administration, Obama discourages hiring competent people because they make him feel inferior for his utter lack of competence, like the in-over-his-head Affirmative Action hire that he is.

    Valerie in reply to Estragon. | December 30, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    I don’t think competent managers make Obama, or his representatives, feel inferior at all. People who are competent are, in their eyes, just individuals who won’t do what he and his political appointees want them to do. Neither Obama nor his merry radicals have the humility to recognize their own lack of competence. Hence, no bracing sense of inferiority.

    Failure to respect the skill and knowledge of others is a tragic flaw, one that this administration has on an epic scale.

“after 41 years of outstanding public service”

As we said high school, C.T.S.

41 years of collecting a paycheck, no heavy lifting, no accountability, promotions and increases assured.

    Neo in reply to pfg. | December 30, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    “Mr. Chairman, we do not have a crisis at HHS, and particularly at, under the outstanding leadership of Secretary Kathleen Syphilis.”

after 41 years of outstanding public service.”

Why does that bring to mind …

Through nearly a dozen hearings, we were frankly trying to fix something that wasn’t broke. Mr. Chairman, we do not have a crisis at Freddie Mac, and particularly at Fannie Mae, under the outstanding leadership of Franklin Raines. — Maxine Waters

We got exactly what we bargained for; he was the number two man, and we got number two. Mission accomplished!