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Education & Labor Committee Republicans

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Is Secretary Sebelius still excited?

President Obama attempted yesterday to address the “outrageous” rollout of his signature health care law, but his speech missed the mark. Ron Fournier of National Journal told MSNBC viewers the president “diminish[ed] the significance of what’s been happening” and ”doesn’t really take full responsibility.” The Wall Street Journal said of the president’s remarks: “Too bad this infomercial lacked tangible information.”  

Perhaps the reason this latest sales pitch fell flat is Americans know firsthand the critical flaws embedded in the president's health care law. For weeks individuals trying to navigate the ObamaCare exchanges have encountered glitches, error messages, and sticker shock.  

This is not exactly what the Obama administration promised. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told lawmakers her team was “on track” to have the exchanges operating by October 1. In fact, Secretary Sebelius told Education and the Workforce committee members: I am very excited about… fully implementing this law.”  

As recent press reports suggest, there isn’t a whole lot to be excited about when it comes to the ObamaCare train wreck:

  • ‘Obamacare’ website struggles with poor health: If a website as vast and technologically complex as healthcare.gov had been launched in Silicon Valley, it would have ramped up slowly, been fine-tuned for months and taken offline at the first sign of trouble. But the Obama administration did none of these things as it launched, on October 1, the centrepiece of its 2010 Affordable Care Act. (Financial Times, 10/21/13)
       
  • Another obstacle to signing up for ACA crops up: People who can’t or don’t want to sign up for Obamacare through the troubled federal website have the option of enrolling directly with an insurance company — but there’s a glitch: The insurers haven’t yet been able to make a key connection with the IT infrastructure for federal exchanges. (Politico, 10/21/13)
        
  • Thousands Of Consumers Get Insurance Cancellation Notices Due To Health Law Changes: Health plans are sending hundreds of thousands of cancellation letters to people who buy their own coverage, frustrating some consumers who want to keep what they have and forcing others to buy more costly policies. The main reason insurers offer is that the policies fall short of what the Affordable Care Act requires starting Jan. (Kaiser Health News, 10/21/13)
        
  • Obamacare website continues to frustrate: Nearly three full weeks since the exchange opened on Oct. 1, enrolling through the exchange in what's popularly known as Obamacare remains a hit-or-miss proposition. There are no official statistics of even the number who have tried, let alone succeeded. (Orlando Sentinel, 10/20/13)
        
  • Builders of Obama's health website saw red flags: As questions mount over the website's failure, insider interviews and a review of technical specifications by The Associated Press found a mind-numbingly complex system put together by harried programmers who pushed out a final product that congressional investigators said was tested by the government and not private developers with more expertise. (Associated Press, 10/22/13)
        
  • Top 4 Obamacare complaints: The debut of the Obamacare health insurance exchanges has been anything but smooth. Three weeks after the exchanges opened, Americans are still having a tough time signing onto the Obamacare websites. And once they manage to get in, many aren't so happy with what they're finding. (CNN, 10/21/13)

Faced with a broken health care law, is Secretary Sebelius still excited?

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