Medicare Chief Apologizes for Health Website Problems - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Medicare Chief Apologizes for Health Website Problems

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There's an apology today from the head of the Medicare program, for the website troubles that have kept Americans from signing up for the new health insurance exchanges. 
Although millions of Americans have shown an interest in checking out the new options, it appears that few have been able to get through the online application process. 
Marilyn Tavenner told a House panel that the initial numbers are expected to be "small." She wouldn't reveal any precise numbers.
An internal memo obtained by The Associated Press shows that the administration expected nearly 500,000 people to gain coverage just in October, the program's first month. 
House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp, a Michigan Republican, drew his own conclusion. He told Tavenner that by his math, the administration appears headed for less than a fourth of its October sign-up estimate.
Meanwhile - as the public face of President Barack Obama's signature health care program, Kathleen Sebelius has become the target for attacks over its botched rollout. Republicans want her to resign and even some Democrats -- while not mentioning Sebelius -- say someone should be fired.
For months, Sebelius, the Health and Human Services secretary, projected confidence that the online health insurance markets would open on time Oct. 1 in all 50 states and that a website that's the key to public enrollments would be ready. Instead, it's been plagued by technical problems.
How much Sebelius knew about the website's problems, and when, are key questions she'll face Wednesday at a House hearing.
Sebelius has acknowledged that the website launch has been rocky. So far, she appears to have the president's backing.  (AP)

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