A White House official responsible for overseeing the development of the Healthcare.gov exchange site will step down in mid-November. Tony Trenkle, the chief information officer at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, will leave his job for work in the private sector. It looks like the departure, announced in an email to CMS staffers on Wednesday, is being ever so carefully framed as a non-resignation.
The New York Times calls Trenkle's departure a "retirement," noting that his departure comes amid a major restructuring of the agency largely responsible for implementing the troubled exchange site. CBS news has more on Trenkle's former work for the agency:
During his time as the agency's CIO, Trenkle oversaw $2 billion in annual information technology expenditures - among them, the development of HealthCare.gov, the federal insurance exchange website at the center of concerns about the shoddy rollout of the health-care reform law.
This, of course, is not the departure the GOP is looking for with the healthcare exchange roll-out. Many Republicans have sought the resignation of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, at the top of oversight of the administration's health care reform rollout. Sebelius testified in front of a congressional investigation into the botched exchange site last week, where she said she wasn't aware of a request from Healthcare.gov contractors for a delay on the site's launch. Health and Human Services oversees CMS, the agency contractors were working with on the site.
The White House has promised to have the exchange site working more smoothly by November 30th, in time for Americans to sign up for coverage starting on January 1st. According to Sebelius, her department has identified "a couple of hundred functional fixes” needed to the site before then. They're working on it, with among other things, a so-called "surge" of experts hired to take on the job of fixing the site.