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Daley: Dropping Sebelius Right Now Would Be ‘Like Firing Capt. Smith On The Titanic After It Hit The Iceberg’

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — President Barack Obama’s former White House chief of staff believes firing Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius right now would be the equivalent of letting the Titanic captain go after he hit the iceberg.

“She is being held accountable. Some people are calling for her to be fired,” Bill Daley told CBS News. “To me, that’s like firing Captain Smith on the Titanic after it hit the iceberg. It’s not going to do much right now.”

Daley, who called the roll out of HealthCare.gov an “embarrassment,” said it will take time to correct the mistakes that have caused massive glitches to the website.

“The real question is what happened here and how did a program that is so vital to the country get screwed up this way at the beginning?” Daley said.

The Obama administration, particularly Sebelius, have been heavily criticized for the problems the website has faced since being launched Oct. 1.

Daley believes the administration has to get the website situation under control first before dealing with a possible change in the Health and Human Services Department.

“There’s a question obviously whether there needs to be new leadership at that department, not only with the secretary but other things going forward,” Daley told CBS News. “I think she is in a tough situation right now but the bottom line is they’ve got to get this working.”

Speaking at a forum on mental health in Boston Wednesday, Sebelius touted the benefits of the health care law, but didn’t directly address the problems plaguing the rollout of the health care website.

Hearings begin today on Capitol Hill as HealthCare.gov contractors testify.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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