Tavenner, Sebelius Apologize for HealthCare.gov Snafus

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has apologized to the public for the technical issues they have experienced while trying to enroll in health plans through the federal exchange website, HealthCare.gov, according to a CBS News report.

Kathleen Sebelius official portraitTestifying before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Secretary Sebelius acknowledged using the site has been "miserably frustrating" for people trying to purchase coverage and said federal officials have plan in place to fix it, according to the report.

Yesterday, CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner similarly apologized for the glitch-ridden rollout during a House Ways and Means Committee hearing, according to the report. CMS is working "around the clock" to address the technical issues that have plagued HealthCare.gov, Ms. Tavenner told lawmakers.

Ms. Tavenner's testimony acknowledged the glitches that have hampered the federal exchange site and frustrated many Americans since its launch earlier this month. CMS is working to fix those problems — which include crashes due to high traffic and people not being able to create accounts — as soon as possible, according to Ms. Tavenner.

"The initial consumer experience of HealthCare.gov has not lived up to the expectations of the American

people and is not acceptable," she saidin her testimony.

However, she also emphasized that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is "much more than purchasing insurance through HealthCare.gov," referring to the law's overall mission to increase access to affordable insurance.

Last week, Jeffrey Zients, who has been tasked with repairing the site, said it will run smoothly by the end of November. HHS has chosen Mr. Zients — who will become the chief White House economic adviser next year — to provide advice, assessments and recommendations as part of a "tech surge" intended to address the numerous technical problems.

Mr. Zients' assurance that the site is fixable was followed by another technical problem: The data center behind HealthCare.gov crashed Sunday night when Verizon's Terremark, which runs the center, had a connectivity issue. Consumers couldn't apply for coverage or determine their eligibility during the outage, although the site appeared to be functional again Monday morning.

More Articles on PPACA Glitches:
UnitedHealth-Owned Contractor Chosen to Oversee Healthcare.gov Repairs
Contractors: HealthCare.gov Wasn't Fully Tested Until Two Weeks Before Launch
Obama Administration: 700k Have Applied for Coverage Through Exchanges 

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