Hearing over ACA website issues continues with Sebelius

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October 30, 2013, 5:59 am
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(NECN/NBC News: Tracie Potts) - There was another outage on healthcare.gov Tuesday night, the second in three days.

It has been working intermittently and slowly since the rollout Oct. 1.

Later Wednesday morning the woman in charge is in the hot seat at a congressional hearing, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

Her prepared testimony is eight pages. But the real sparks are sure to fly when the Republicans in charge of this committee start asking her why the website's not working, whether the government knew it might crash, and whether Americans can afford these healthcare plans.

Sebelius will tell Congress that healthcare.gov has had 20 million hits and 700,000 applications.

But from her Medicare chief, there is no word yet on how many have been able to get past the error messages and actually buy insurance:

Marilyn Tavenner, Administrator, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid, said,  "We will have those numbers in mid-November."

Opponents remain unconvinced that the faulty website and the insurance it sells are a good deal.

House Speaker John Boehner said, "There is no way to fix this monstrosity."

Rep. Vern Buchanan said, "It's a public relations nightmare."

Rep. Dave Reichert said, "It's not time for any sanding to take place, but the chain saw needs to come out."

President obama heads to Massachusetts to highlight how health reform worked there.

He's under fire for promising Americans could keep their insurance. Millions of those plans are now being canceled because they don't meet minimum standards.

Rep. Aaron Schock said, "Now they're being told they can't. That's a lie."

Senator Harry Reid said, "He didn't say anything wrong."

The White House is tweaking that promise.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said,  "If you wanted it and it was available, you could."

So far, two million people have received cancellations.

Tags: barack Obama, congress, hearing, Kathleen Sebelius, website, Affordable Care Act, Obamacare
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