Challenges continue to mount for Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
Public criticism persists as she prepares to testify Wednesday before a congressional committee demanding answers about ongoing problems with the Obama administration's health care enrollment website.
Public ridicule reached prime-time -- or late-night -- when "Saturday Night Live" parodied Sebelius and the HealthCare.gov debacle that has rocked the online rollout of President Barack Obama's signature domestic policy achievement.
Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., called her a "laughingstock" on ABC's "This Week" and said "she's lost considerable credibility."
Then another Affordable Care Act website outage occurred over the weekend. It resulted from efforts to fix a technical problem.
The program could take another hit on Tuesday as Marilyn Tavenner, who reports to Sebelius and is the administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, appears before the House Ways and Means Committee. Tavenner's agency oversaw the creation of the online marketplace that has taken so much heat.
Expect Tavenner to be peppered with questions from both Republicans and Democrats.
But Sebelius appears secure for now, despite political uproar, a public relations debacle and a "punch list" of tangible problems that have hampered the ACA website.
That's because Obama has her back.
The president has resisted calls from Republican opponents to show Sebelius the door.
He has "full confidence" in Sebelius, White House spokesman Jay Carney said this month.
That's all Sebelius needs at the moment, and she knows it, especially with her appearance before the House Energy and Commerce Committee looming.
Sebelius told CNN last week that "the majority of people calling for me to resign, I would say, are people who I don't work for and who do not want this program to work in the first place."
For the time being, Obama has few choices other than to stick with the woman responsible for implementing the initiative to get millions of uninsured Americans health insurance.
While Sebelius is constantly being hammered for the faulty rollout, the president escapes a good deal of the blame.
Sebelius even protected the president by saying in the interview with CNN that he didn't know about potential problems with the website until a couple of days after its launch on Oct. 1.
Eric Dezenhall, crisis management expert and CEO of Dezenhall Resources, said the president is getting a free ride.
"She is going to absorb a tremendous amount of lightning," he said, adding that is part of the plan.
"The general rules is the president announces good news and the departments announce bad news and get the blame," said Dezenhall, who worked in President Ronald Reagan's administration.
Rep. Darrell Issa of California has aggressively investigated the Obama administration as chairman of the Republican-led House Oversight Committee.
And he is putting the blame over snafus with the ACA online rollout squarely at the feet of Sebelius.
"The president has been poorly served in the implementation of his own signature legislation," Issa said Sunday on CBS' "Meet the Press."
One reason Sebelius is likely to keep her job for now is that a permanent replacement requires Senate confirmation, finding someone else ostensibly to serve out her term would subject Obama to a damaging political fight with conservative Republicans determined to get rid of the health care law.