The White House official responsible for developing the error-plagued Obamacare website will retire at the end of the year, administration officials announced Monday.
Michelle Snyder, the “No. 2 official” responsible for the rollout of the health care law, according to The New York Times, is currently the chief operating officer for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, meaning she is responsible for the agency’s day-to-day activities.
She also oversees the agency’s budget and allocation of personnel, meaning the agency’s tech experts report to her.
Snyder’s exit will mark the second time since the healthcare.gov website first launched on Oct. 1 that a top Obamacare official has decided to part ways with the Obama administration.
Tony Trenkle, the Medicare agency’s former chief information officer, resigned in November.
Snyder will leave the agency “after 41 years of outstanding public service,” said Marilyn B. Tavenner, administrator of the Medicare agency in an email to agency employees.
“While we celebrate her distinguished career, we are also sadly saying farewell to a good friend and a key member of the agency’s leadership team,” Tavenner wrote. “Michelle’s intelligence, experience and formidable work ethic have been indispensable to me and to many of you during her tenure.”
Tim Love, Snyder’s deputy, will assume her duties in meantime, according to the The New York Times.
As of this writing, Snyder’s plans for the future are unknown.
“It’s her personal decision to retire now,” an agency official told the Times.
Snyder had reportedly planned on leaving the agency in 2012, but stayed on at the request of Tavenner.
Unsurprisingly, Snyder’s role in the development of the troubled Obamacare website and the timing of her exit has raised a few eyebrows.
“She had to go. She was responsible for the implementation of Obamacare. She controlled all the resources to get it done. She was in charge of information technology. She controlled personnel and budget,” a former agency official told the Times.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius during a Congressional hearing on Oct. 30 specifically named Snyder as the person responsible for developing the Obamacare website.
Still, it’s worth noting that Sebelius followed up by saying, "Michelle Snyder is not responsible for those debacles. Hold me accountable for the debacle. I’m responsible.”
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