News & Politics

Another Official Involved in Flawed Obamacare Rollout Retires

Michelle Snyder, chief operating officer for Medicare and Medicaid, is stepping down.

Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius keeps telling her congressional inqusitors to ladle her the blame for the catastrophic introduction of the Obama administration’s health-care rollout, but another of Sebelius’ underlings is making an exit. Michelle Snyder, the second-in-command of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, is retiring Monday.

As the agency’s chief operating officer, Snyder supervised the creation of, the federal government’s new—and sometimes buggy—health insurance exchange website. Her retirement comes a month after CMS’s chief information officer, Tony Trenkle, quit for a private sector job.

It’s her personal decision to retire now,” a CMS spokesperson told the New York Times. Snyder has spent 41 years in public service, the agency added.

More than 1.1 million people have purchased insurance through since it went live on October 1, the government said last week. Thirty-six states are using the federal exchange; the other 14 states and the District of Columbia have their own sites.

Since the exchange’s debut, Sebelius has been dragged in front of Congress on a regular basis to explain its problems. “Hold me accountable for the debacle,” she said during an October 30 hearing. So far, it’s her subordinates who are going down.

Staff Writer

Benjamin Freed joined Washingtonian in August 2013 and covers politics, business, and media. He was previously the editor of DCist and has also written for Washington City Paper, the New York Times, the New Republic, Slate, and BuzzFeed. He lives in Adams Morgan.