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HHS head says she's responsible for troubled HealthCare.gov

Grant Gross | Oct. 31, 2013
Security problems reported at the U.S. government's troubled HealthCare.gov are overblown because security testing has been ongoing for months, the secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said Wednesday.

Asked how U.S. residents should have confidence in that date when HHS officials promised the website would work on Oct. 1, Sebelius said taxpayers will have to watch the progress. "I know there's no confidence in that date until we deliver on that date," she said. "That's on me."

While the committee billed the hearing as focused on HealthCare.gov, much of the discussion veered toward more general criticisms by Republicans of the Affordable Care Act, a massive overhaul of the U.S. health insurance industry.

Many Republican lawmakers cited reports of U.S. residents having their current health insurance plans canceled, despite promises from President Barack Obama that people could keep plans they liked. Insurance companies are canceling some coverage because the plans don't meet the law's requirements and affected people will be able to buy new insurance plans through the government-run marketplaces, with many people saving money with the new plans, Sebelius said.

Some Democrats said it's ironic that Republicans are now concerned about the website performance when they've voted unsuccessfully dozens of times to repeal Obamacare. "They're rooting for it to fail," said Representative Eliot Engel, a New York Democrat.

 

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