State Senator Brian Kelsey said he was just “trying to get his message out” when he gave U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, a “Web Sites for Dummies” book during her visit to Memphis on Friday.
Sebelius was in town for an outreach event on the Affordable Care Act when she received the gift from the Republican state senator.
The book was a reference to the government's problematic rollout of its health insurance Web site.
Senator Kelsey said he wasn't sure anyone had noticed. Sebelius didn't say anything to him and handed the book to an aide.
The moment, however, was captured by a Memphis Daily photographer and quickly circulated online.
“Well, I had about two seconds to get my message to the secretary out and the message is clearly she's failed at designing this healthcare.gov Web site and we don't want her designing our Medicaid expansion program Web site here in Tennessee,” Senator Kelsey told Nashville's News 2.
During the event, Sebelius told everyone that the Obama Administration should have been ready for the healthcare rollout and said people need to be reminded that the Web site is now working.
Nashville's News 2 emailed Sebelius' office for comment Monday afternoon.
Her office later responded with an update on the progress being made to the healthcare Web site.