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Sebelius: ‘Hold Me Accoutable for the Debacle’ of Healthcare.gov

GOP chairman at hearing: “Americans were assured their experience would be similar to other online transactions like purchasing a flight or ordering a pizza."

by
Bill Straub

Bio

October 30, 2013 - 3:15 pm
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WASHINGTON – Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius admitted Wednesday that the rollout of the health insurance marketplace under the newly implemented healthcare reform law “has not lived up to the expectations of the American people” and that public confidence in the system popularly known as Obamacare will suffer until the problems are resolved.

Testifying before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Sebelius acknowledged that logging on to the HealthCare.gov website – developed to assist consumers in 36 states to evaluate and purchase health insurance – has proved “frustrating for many Americans” and that her agency is committed to solving the problems “as soon as possible.”

The present situation, she said, “is not acceptable.”

“The Affordable Care Act has already provided new benefits and protections to Americans with health insurance and we are committed to improving the experience for consumers using HealthCare.gov so that Americans can easily access the quality, affordable health coverage they need,” Sebelius said. “By enlisting additional technical help, aggressively monitoring errors, testing to prevent new issues from cropping up and regularly deploying fixes to the site, we are working to ensure consumers’ interaction with HealthCare.gov is a positive one, and that the Affordable Care Act fully delivers on its promise.”

Consumers seeking to use the HealthCare.gov website to purchase healthcare — as required under Obamacare — have encountered numerous problems, including the inability to log on to the site, trouble creating accounts, receiving confusing error messages, slow page loads and forms that failed to respond in a timely fashion.

Sebelius attributed the ongoing website issues to private contractors hired by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CSM) to develop the system.

“CMS has a track record of success fullyoverseeing the many contractors our programs depend on to function,” Sebelius said. “Unfortunately, a subset of those contracts for HealthCare.gov have not met expectations. Among other issues, the initial wave of interest stressed the account service, resulting in many consumers experiencing difficulty signing up, while those who were able to sign up sometimes had problems logging in.”

Sebelius said officials were aware that problems could occur.

“No one indicated it could possibly go this wrong,” she said.

Nonetheless, Sebelius apologized and said the problem rests with her.

“Hold me accountable for the debacle,” she said. “I’m responsible.”

Sebelius said the cabinet for Health and Human Services has taken a number of steps that have improved the system since its rocky Oct. 1 launch and the problems should be addressed by the end of November.

“We continue to add more capacity in order to meet demand and execute software fixes to address the sign up and log in issues, stabilizing those parts of the service and allowing us to remove the virtual ‘waiting room,’” Sebelius said. “Today, more individuals are successfully creating accounts, logging in, and moving on to apply for coverage and shop for plans.”

Regardless, she said, “there is still significant, additional work to be done.” The secretary added that her cabinet does not yet have data indicating the number of individuals who managed to use the website to obtain health insurance. That won’t come until mid-November. Currently, she said, insurers do not have access to the information.

“They (insurers) are not getting reliable data all the way through the systems,” she said. “The system isn’t functioning so we are not getting that reliable data. Insurers who I met with said that is the case.”

Committee Republicans were not reassured by the secretary’s testimony. Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), the committee chairman, noted that HealthCare.gov was down Tuesday night at 5 p.m. It was also down on Monday and it crashed last weekend.

“And even this morning when we attempted to view the site before this hearing, we were hit with an error message,” Upton said.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
Accountable? OK........ You're FIRED!
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
It signifies absolutely nothing for Sebelius to claim she is "accountable" for the lousy performance of the healthcare.gov website, unless,of course, she resigns, or is fired.

But that is typical of the Obama regime......NO ONE is held accountable for anything.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Here's how:

Johnson has introduced legislation that really does require that if you like your current health care plan, you can keep it. In fact, it quotes Obama directly on that.

That is, a non-compliant plan will no longer need to be eliminated for non-compliance.

Now, let's dare all the Dems to vote against this bill. And let them defend their votes in the 2014 congressional election.



51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (21)
All Comments   (21)
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my best friend's sister makes $72 an hour on the laptop. She has been unemployed for ten months but last month her pay was $15093 just working on the laptop for a few hours. this post....WWW.Rush64.Com
50 weeks ago
50 weeks ago Link To Comment
Everyone knows Sebelius is taking the fall to shield Obama. He has seen fit to unconstitutionally change the law, why shouldn't he continue to make changes to fix the mess? But that assumes he cares.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Prediction: Harry Reid will never let it come up for a vote, unless it's been so eviscerated by Democratic amendments that it will no longer be effective.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Simple question.

If she was responsible for the debacle, how and why should we trust her to fix the mess?
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Accountable? OK........ You're FIRED!
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
This feigned acceptance of culpability with no possibility of consequence is one of the things that is most reprehensible in today's society. That nobody responded "Well, Citizen Sebelius, the window is right there. We are only on the third floor, but there's concrete below, so that should be sufficient" proves that this was just another feelie show. So, full speed ahead. Onward. Down the drain.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hey Kathleen, if you are serious about being "held accountable" why don't you take the ancient Japanese route and commit Seppuku on nationwide tv? Common girlfriend, you can do it!! ( Oh, I'm sorry, I forgot there isn't an honorable bone in your lying body!)
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Whatever." -Kathleen Sebelius

I'm glad she is an incompetent functionary who has little understanding of the world around her. She is perfect for this administration and for Obamacare.

But, yes, for this level of inexcusable incompetence, she should be asked to resign as a minimum.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
And WHAT exactly does "Hold me accountable" mean from a hgh level functionary appointed by the Executive elected to top management by the stockholders of the enterprise?

Who falls on her - rubber - sword in respect for the big boy on the block to whom she owes her status, perks and privileges.

The big boy on the block who himself "has not been held accountable". For FUNDAMENTAL requirements for the perks and privileges permitted ONLY to "legally eligible" for the job of Executive of Enterprise USA.

NOT "held accountable". By the people enjoined to assure accountability in compliance with the rules of the Enterprise. AKA the Fundamental Law of the Land.

To which rules, Law, each member of administration, management, of the Enterprise, Congress - House and Senate - AND Judiciary swear/affirm oath to "UPHOLD and DEFEND".

NOT "held accountable" with authoritatively documented PROOF of his qualifications. Provenance important in that PROOF. At a time when and in which place no stone is undocumented/unturned. UNLESS for nefarious intent.

Provenance. Provenance at latest English dicitionary meaning: the source from which anything (anybody ) comes or is derived for which in the "advanced" western nations authoritative records abound for a very long time.

To be "held accountable" for service to the Executive of Enterprise USA who "has not been held accountable". A DREAM come true.

So it seems that "crime doesn't pay", is just another fairy tale for the un-empowered, aka the COMMONER American citizen, the "children"?, as anoather tale to keep the children quiet and amenable.

What would we do without our fairy tales?
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
It signifies absolutely nothing for Sebelius to claim she is "accountable" for the lousy performance of the healthcare.gov website, unless,of course, she resigns, or is fired.

But that is typical of the Obama regime......NO ONE is held accountable for anything.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Ok, Kathy, done, you are accountable for the debacle. How long does it take to count to 112, the number of people that have signed up? Seriously, Obie, what does it take to get fired from your administration?
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
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