Sen. Portman urges stop to 'Obamacare'

Says Web site woes show need to halt federal health care overhaul

Sen. Rob Portman
Sen. Rob Portman

CINCINNATI  — Ohio’s Republican U.S. senator today pointed to federal website woes as evidence that President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul should be halted.

Sen. Rob Portman said the site is an indicator of what’s ahead in the health care rollout. He said the overhaul is a complex, “big government” program that will hurt the U.S. economy, and the way the website has been plagued by technical malfunctions highlights that the Obama administration doesn’t have “its act together” on the health care plan.

“It’s not a ‘glitch.’ It’s a breakdown,” Portman said. “It’s much more serious than the kind of a glitch you might have on some app on your iPhone that doesn’t work the first day but the second day gets fixed.”

Portman said the Obama plan should “be replaced with something that works better.”

Obama’s administration has said the computer system didn’t get enough testing and blamed a compressed time frame for meeting the Oct. 1 deadline to open the insurance markets.

Portman isn’t among critics who want the ouster of U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, daughter of the late Ohio Gov. John Gilligan.

“I’m not calling for her replacement,” Portman said. “I don’t think she’s done a great job, but I don’t think firing her is going to solve the problem.”

Portman commented to reporters in his home area after a roundtable discussion on a different topic — legislation to help released convicts get jobs, education and other support to reduce repeat offenses.

Ohio’s Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown of Cleveland planned a later appearance today in Cincinnati to promote legislation to help veterans make the transition into the civilian job market.