Sebelius: Expect Low Enrollment Numbers From HealthCare.Gov

(Washington, DC) -- Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius expects early enrollment numbers for HealthCare.Gov to be "very low."
Sebelius testified in a Senate hearing extensively about the website for the new healthcare exchanges, which has been riddled with glitches since its launch on October 1st. Sebelius said she is accountable for a "miserably frustrating" experience. Sebelius said things are getting a little better each day and she expressed optimism about getting the website fully operational by the end of this month.
Montana Democrat Max Baucus asked Sebelius why she doesn't just shut down the site entirely until it's totally fixed. She called that unnecessary, saying the site is "fixable" and "not fatally flawed." She also argued that delaying Obamacare is "not an option." Opening the hearing, Senator Baucus said the rollout has been rocky and unacceptable. He argued it must succeed to help provide access to affordable, quality healthcare for millions of people who can't afford insurance. Sebelius insisted there is still plenty of time during a six month open-enrollment period.
Utah Republican Orrin Hatch called the rollout a disastrous debacle and accused the Obama administration of repeatedly misleading the American people. Kansas Republican Pat Roberts repeated a call for Sebelius to resign. Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden cited the rocky rollout of the new Medicare prescription drug program in 2006, during the Bush administration. He said it's now a popular and successful program. New Jersey Democrat Robert Menendez accused Republican critics of hypocrisy. He said Republicans cannot continue calling for Obamacare to be repealed while also complaining that HealthCare.Gov is not working well.
Additional audio:
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said she is accountable for a "miserably frustrating" experience.
Sebelius says many Americans have been having problems with the healthcare.gov website.
Sebelius says the problems are being resolved.
Sebelius said for some Americans, it has been a "miserably frustrating" experience.
Sebelius says many Americans have been able to register for Obamacare.
Montana Democrat Max Baucus said the rollout has been rocky.
Baucus says the rollout of healthcare.gov has been disappointing.
Baucus says he is still behind the Affordable Care Act.
Baucus says many Americans want to have healthcare.gov closed until the problems are fixed.
Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah says Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was not honest with the Senate committee.
Hatch says there have been many problems with the website.
Hatch says the Obama administration wasn't honest with Americans.
Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon says the Medicare prescription drug program in 2006 helped seniors.
Wyden says many newspapers criticized the Medicare drug program.
Wyden says the Medicare drug program also had problems when it was rolled out.
Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey accused Republican critics of hypocrisy.
Menendez says Republicans cannot continue calling for Obamacare to be repealed while also complaining that HealthCare.Gov is not working well.
Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas says Sebelius should do more than take responsibility for what happened to the website.