October 30th, 2013
09:05 AM ET
12 months ago

Highlights: Sebelius on the hot seat

Washington (CNN) - They want her fired and the health care reforms she champions dismantled, Wednesday Republicans got their chance to question Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius over the rocky rollout of the Obamacare website, as she testified before a House Energy and Commerce Committee.

12:36 p.m. ET: The hearing ends
Hearing length: 3 hours 33 minutes.
Members of Congress who asked questions: 51.
When Sebelius apologized for the HealthCare.gov problems: a few minutes into the hearing, during her opening statement.
Number of members who referenced the Wizard of Oz: Three. (Sebelius is from Kansas.)

Most frequent topics:
– – The President’s past assertion that “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan” and news that after 2010 some plans have been cancelled.
– – Whether the individual mandate should be delayed given the website problems and the delay in the employer mandate.
– – Who is to blame for: a) the lack of adequate testing (Answer: no one specific was named), b) the decision to make individuals register before they could browse plans (Answer: Michelle Snyder of CMS) c) the decision to launch the website when it wasn’t ready (Answer: Sebelius said she told the president the site was ready, based on staff guidance. She stressed that no one predicted the avalanche of problems that happened)

12:35 p.m. ET
After a sharp exchange with a Republican Congressman, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Wednesday she would "gladly join" the new health insurance exchange under Obamacare if she didn't have affordable coverage under the federal program for government officials.

12:32 p.m. ET
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said on Wednesday the decision to require people to sign up on the Obamacare website before they could shop for rates was "wrong." Outside contractors have said a change in plans shortly before the botched October 1 launch of the website prevented people from "window-shopping" without signing up, increasing the initial volume that officials cite as the main cause of the online problems. Sebelius said the decision to make the change came from Marilyn Tavenner, who heads the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in her department.

12:31 p.m. ET

To the best of your knowledge, has a man ever given birth to a baby? As the hearing moved toward its end, Rep. Renee Ellmers, R-North Carolina, asked Secretary Sebelius that question, aiming to highlight that some men may be forced to buy maternity coverage as part of an insurance package under Obamacare. Sebelius responded that some men do need maternity coverage for their spouse and family, who could be covered under their policy. Ellmers insisted this is an example of why health care costs are going up, insurance coverage that may not be necessary for everyone.

12:18 p.m. ET
By the way: While Sebelius was still getting grilled at the hearing, Roger Daltrey, lead singer of the legendary band “The Who,” was performing at an unveiling of a Winston Churchill bust in the Capitol Rotunda singing “Stand by Me” and “Won’t Get Fooled Again.”

12:04 p.m. ET
A member of Congress has sparked some applause. Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Colorado, blasted HHS Secretary Sebelius for not getting her own health care through the exchanges set up by Obamacare. Sebelius explained that by law she receives the Federal Health Employee Benefits plan, which includes most federal workers. Gardner held up a letter that he said was a cancellation notice for his family's police and as he continued to ask Sebelius why she herself wasn't in the exchange, some scattered but noticeable claps came from the crowded hearing room.

12:03 p.m.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Wednesday that she told President Barack Obama the website for his signature health care reforms was "ready to go" for its October 1 launch, adding: "Clearly, I was wrong. We were wrong."

11:57 a.m. ET
An internal government memo obtained by CNN and written just days before the Obamacare open enrollment warned of a "high" security risk due to a lack of testing of the healthcare.gov website. "Due to system readiness issues, the (Security Control Assessment) SCA was only partly completed," according to the memo from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. "This constitutes a risk that must be accepted and mitigated to support the Marketplace Day 1 operations."

11:56 a.m. ET
Rep. John Barrow, D-Georgia, is highly critical of and has repeatedly voted to limit Obamacare. He's a Blue Dog Democrat.

11:43 a.m. ET
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius urged members of Congress on Wednesday to help inform their constituents about Obamacare, calling on them to raise awareness of available federal subsidies and make clear that people don't have to stay with the same company because they now have choice.

11:37 a.m. ET
Bad luck for the junior Congressmen on the committee. In an attempt to end the hearing on time, Committee Chair Fred Upton just announced that members will be now limited to two minutes of questioning each.

11:31 a.m. ET
A question about President Barack Obama sparked a seeming verbal exasperation from Secretary Sebelius. Rep. Greg Harper, R-Mississippi, repeatedly asked if Obama, as the chief executive, is responsible for the problems with HealthCare.gov. Sebelius demurred, insisting the website rollout was her responsibility. But on one final try, Harper stipulated, "it is the President's ultimate responsibility, is it not." She searched for words, saying, "you clearly ..." then added a rare "whatever." She concluded, "He is the President of the United States."

11:26 a.m. ET
Time check. A spokesman for the House Energy and Commerce Committee tells CNN that about 15 more members are waiting to ask questions of Secretary Sebelius. At five minutes each, that would take well over an hour. The spokesman says initially the Secretary had asked to leave by noon, but the committee may ask her to stay longer.

11:19 a.m. ET
Who's the man with the mustache and red tie behind Sebelius? That's Mike Hash, who leads the HHS office of Health Reform. He is a key coordinator of policy between the White House and HHS and is a go-to briefer when Congress wants Obamacare answers. Off camera, Hash has passed a few notes to Sebelius during the hearing. He also has a resume line that may be a bonus today: he used to work as a staff member for this committee.
Mike Hash, head of HHS Health Reform office

11:03 a.m. ET

House Speaker John Boehner's office just sent out an e-mail questioning and making hay out of Sebelius' comment (at about 10:05 a ET) that "the website has never crashed". The e-mail includes a screen shot of the HealthCare.gov error message this morning.

11:00 a.m. ET
Because of the flawed launch of the Obamacare website, the administration expects the figure for initial enrollment "will be a very small number," Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told a House committee hearing Wednesday.

10:55 a.m. ET
Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas, just mentioned a CNN.com story about the HealthCare.gov website being vulnerable to hackers. Since we are CNN.com, here's a handy link.

10:47 a.m. ET
About an hour and a half into the hearing, Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-North Carolina, became the 20th committee member, out of a possible 54 members who can participate, to ask questions of Sebelius.

10:46 a.m. ET
The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee accused Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius of putting private information of Americans at risk by failing to properly test security measures in the troubled Obamacare website."This is a completely unacceptable level of security," said Republican Rep. Mike Rogers of Michigan at a hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, adding that if the website is not functioning, "you know it's not secure." Sebelius said testing occurs regularly, but told Rogers she would get back to him on whether any end-to-end security test of the entire system has ever occurred. Rogers responded that he knows there have been no such comprehensive security tests.

10:37 a.m. ET
States running their own Obamacare health insurance exchanges instead of turning them over to the federal government are "doing well," Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told a congressional committee Wednesday."Everything we hear is that they see the same demand, they are eager to enroll folks, and that is going smoothly."

10:29 a.m. ET

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Wednesday that no "reliable, confirmed" information exists on how many people have signed up for Obamacare health coverage, rejecting a request from a Republican congressman that she allow insurance companies to release their figures. Sebelius reiterated earlier statements that figures on initial enrollment will be made public in mid-November.

10:26 a.m. ET
The outside contractors that built the troubled Obamacare website never recommended delaying the October 1 launch, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told a House committee Wednesday. Her comments came in response to questions about an August report by one of the companies that cited problems.

10:21 a.m. ET
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told a House committee Wednesday that "we did not adequately do end-to-end testing" of the troubled Obamacare website before its botched launch on October 1, adding that the various components "were not locked and loaded into the system" until mid-September.

10:10 a.m. ET
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Wednesday that contracts with the private companies working on the Obamacare website do not have any "built-in penalties" allowing her department to charge them for disappointing or faulty work. However, she said the agency will not pay for work that is incomplete.

10:09 a.m. ET
The exchange a few minutes ago between Rep. Joe Pitts, R-Pennsylvania and Secretary Sebelius hit on perhaps the widest number of issues with HealthCare.gov yet. In his five-minute questioning period, Pitts asked:

- Had Sebelius herself tried to signup on HealthCare.gov herself? Answer: she had an initial sort of dummy account. (It was not clear from her answer if she had tried to go through the process after the website was launched.)

- Who at the agency initially decided to require users to register before they could browse, a decision that may have caused some of the biggest problems in the first weeks? Answer: Marilyn Tavener, head of the Medicare & Medicaid Services.

- Did Sebelius think two weeks of testing before launching the site was enough? Answer: clearly not.

- When was Sebelius made aware of the problem? Answer: in August, contractor CGI Federal listed some problems and she understood they were fixing them.

- Did she know that in September some insurers recommended a delay? Answer: I wasn't in that meeting and I don't think anyone estimated the degree to which we have had problems.

10:06 a.m. ET
In a sharp exchange with a Republican congressman, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Wednesday she believed she could provide legislators with a list of insurers in federal exchanges set up under Obamacare that do not offer coverage for abortion services.

9:56 a.m. ET
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Wednesday she was confident the troubled Obamacare website would be running smoothly by November 30, adding "I have confidence, but it isn't fair to ask the American public to take our word for it."

9:51 a.m. ET
At 90 years old, Rep. Ralph Hall, R-Texas, questioning Sebelius now, is the oldest member of Congress and was a teenager when Social Security was created. He has adamantly opposed Obamacare.

9:45 a.m. ET
A waiver of privacy rights on the Obamacare website was included in error and "will be taken down," Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Wednesday, telling GOP Rep. Joe Barton of Texas that "we have asked them to remove that statement."

5 things we learned from Tuesday's hearing with Tavenner

9:44 a.m. ET
HHS Secretary Sebelius just said that someone named Michelle Snyder was responsible for coordinating HealthCare.gov prior to this week (when contractor CGI Federal took over). Who is that? Snyder is the top day-to-day manager for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Here's her bio.

Snyder's boss did not directly defend her but when Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tennessee, asked, "So is Michelle Snyder responsible for this debacle?", Sebelius responded "no". That's when the HHS secretary said that Congress should hold her (Sebelius) responsible.

9:35 a.m. ET
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Wednesday before a congressional committee that Republicans should "hold me responsible" for the problem-plagued Obamacare website.

9:33 a.m. ET
So far, the Sebelius hearing is going according to a classic Congressional script. The chairman from the opposing party opens with a question about one of the hottest issues, in this case Chairman Fred Upton, R-Michigan, asked about the fact that some Americans will not be able to keep their health care plans. Then the ranking member from the president's party, Rep. Henry Waxman, D-California, asks friendly questions to defend their position. Now, we watch to see if there will be any news, anything goes off script. Will Republican questions elicit any new information and will any Democrats become especially critical of the HealthCare.gov roll-out.

Three states tell insurers to cancel plans that don't comply with Obamacare

9:32 a.m. ET
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Wednesday that people who bought their own health coverage before Obamacare was signed into law in 2010 can keep those policies if they choose under a "grandfather" clause included in the legislation. Her response to a question about people getting their policies canceled now defended promises by President Barack Obama that anyone who likes their health care plan can keep it, relying on the technicality that the coverage must pre-date the law. Asked if Obama was keeping his promise, Sebelius responded: "Yes, he is."


9:20 a.m. ET

What did the HHS Secretary just say? Here's a link to the eight pages of written testimony she submitted earlier this week.
Her spoken words to the committee were a shorter version.

Administration warned about site's trouble before launch

9:19 a.m. ET
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told a House committee Wednesday that the "vast majority" of consumers will be able to shop online for health insurance under Obamacare by the end of November without the problems being experienced now.

9:17 a.m. ET
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius apologized Wednesday to Americans for the "miserably frustrating experience" caused by problems with the Obamacare website.

9:15 a.m. ET
As Sebelius starts her testimony, HealthCare.gov is not working. The familiar error screen, "The system is down at the moment" appears.

9:13 a.m. ET
The top Democrat on a House committee examining Obamacare told a hearing Wednesday that the President's signature health care reforms mean that "the worst abuses of the insurance industry will be halted." Rep. Henry Waxman of California said the reforms mean better plans are available at lower premiums, and he urged Republican colleagues to "stop hyperventilating" about problems with the system's website.

Keep your plan? Maybe not

9:12 a.m. ET
Sebelius is taking the oath before the House Energy & Commerce Committee as many are watching to see if the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee will issue a subpoena for documents related to HealthCare.gov.

9:08 a.m. ET
Republican Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan opened Wednesday's hearing on Obamacare by the House Energy and Commerce Committee he chairs by saying news about the President's signature health care reforms "seems to get worse by the day," adding that "Americans are scared" and "may be losing their faith in the government."

9:04 a.m. ET
A congressional committee hearing Wednesday with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius facing questions about Obamacare has started.


Filed under: Congress • Health care • Kathleen Sebelius • Obamacare
soundoff (268 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    scrappyone

    @Data Driven

    Be sure to watch long enough where she avoided Cory Gardner, a Republican from Colorado, question as to why she hasn't signed up for this ACA through the website. Cory was the only one so far to call out anyone in congress as to why they aren't on it. He had insurance like all the rest of the americans and wasn't using the governments. He lost his families coverage due to Obamacare
    -----------------–
    "Cry me a River!"

    October 30, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  2. Wire Palladin, S.F.

    Can those of you who work for, and are insured through Fox foreign owned media, realize that your insurance plan is junk?

    October 30, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  3. sonny chapman

    This is WORSE than those darned WMDs that Iraq sent to Syria.

    October 30, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  4. Name Glen

    At least we're moving forward. Bush put us in the deep hole.its easy to spend than to fix it

    October 30, 2013 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  5. Sammy

    The Republicans are using these hearings to smoke screen the big food stamp cut this week, of $40 billion that they approved and passed. The Republicans are hiding the fact they closed down the govt. for over 2 weeks. The Republicans continue to use smoke screens to hide the damage they are doing to the people and this nation.

    October 30, 2013 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  6. $$$$

    At the rate that this situation is deteriorating, by the end of this week Democrats will be blaming the Obamacare disaster on evil racist Tea Party hackers who are intent on overthrowing the Obama regime. A lot of Democrats are in a panic. Those who aren't panicking should be.

    October 30, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  7. Gunderson

    There is the Profit and Loss thing. So far the Loss types are winning 100 to 0. A Depression is coming soon to a venue near you.

    October 30, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  8. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair wrote:

    Substandard in WHOSE eyes? The government's? HOW does the government decide a one-size-fits-all package of benefits? What if I was independently wealthy and could afford to be on my own with respect to healthcare and didn't need insurance whatsoever? WHY would I need to buy a product I had absolutely no need for or be forced to pay a penalty? What's the next product the government is going to dictate "standards" to me?
    ----------------------------------
    If you were independently wealthy, then ... ... :)
    – you wouldn't need to work.
    – you wouldn't need to file taxes because you don't work.
    – you wouldn't need to worry about an IRS penalty because you don't file any taxes.
    – you would quickly go broke paying for cancer treatments for you and yours because of genetic defect in your bloodline.

    October 30, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  9. Tampa Tim

    tom l – I have not heard any woman complain about paying for your flomax, Viagra, or enhancement drugs.

    October 30, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  10. Tony

    Stating the Obvious (But Wrong),
    Not all of these plans are illegal. Some are grandfathered under Obamacare. Grandfathered plans are those that were in existence on March 23, 2010 and have stayed essentially the same. They can enroll people after that date and still maintain their grandfathered status. So, if you joined a grandfathered plan, you can stay in the plan.

    October 30, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  11. just saying

    An internal government memo obtained by CNN and written just days before the Obamacare open enrollment warned of a "high" security risk due to a lack of testing of the healthcare.gov website. "Due to system readiness issues, the (Security Control Assessment) SCA was only partly completed," according to the memo from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. "This constitutes a risk that must be accepted and mitigated to support the Marketplace Day 1 operations."
    ----

    people need to be fired. plan and simple. obama needs to admit that he is accepting total incompetence in his adminstration if he refuses to fire these people for this disaster, this disaster they knew about. if you want three more years of incompetence and disaster to go along with the last 5 years of incompetence and disaster, leave these clowns in their positions.

    it is almost as if obama enjoys inflicting all of this pain and suffering on the american people and this country. he refuses to do anything about it and continues to protect these people that are being paid by the usa taxpayer. we are paying for our own abuse!

    October 30, 2013 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  12. MOG

    Ask the under privileged and poor relatives of the committee members what they think, and how they have been affected by not being able to have healthcare insurance. Let's put them on parade too!

    October 30, 2013 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  13. smith

    The only people that the ACA helps are poor people. The middle class is being made to suffer as usual. Hardworking people who were told they could keep their current plans have been misled. The rich doesn`t care because they have plenty of money to deal with this fodder. Liberals go after the wealthy and always end up screwing the middle class.

    October 30, 2013 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    "the Supremes ruled that enforcement by agencies was unreviewable because such actions are committed to agency discretion by law. Yes? And this means we can put the "illegal" talking point to bed. Yes?"

    To a certain extent. I forget the exact language he used, but Rehnquist and the majority of the court basically said that the POTUS and administration agencies have certain discretion in terms of faithfully upholding and enforcing the laws, which means that when they take actions such as waivers or adjusting timelines/deadlines that are in good faith and designed to further the statutory scheme, the intent of the law and assure that the laws are implemented in a sane, reasonable, rational and effective manner, the courts will not and should not step in to question those actions. The only time they will is when the actions taken were so egregious and extreme that it threatens the actual intent of the laws in question. Precedent from other cases shows that delaying the employer mandate and other adjustments made by Obama and his administration do not even come close to rising to the kind of egregious and extreme abuses of discretion where the court has previously found it was necessary to interfere.

    October 30, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  15. Marylyn Keener

    Why is Ms. Sebelius refusing to acknowlege that the insurance companies are sending letters to people saying they are no longer insured with their previous insurance companies. Insurance Co. are privately owned and can do whatever they want, because there was no regulation to the insurance Co. when Obamacare was first put into law. I sent e-mail to White House years ago that there would be huge changes by the insurance Co. with "everything" being raised: ie premimums, deductibles and "cut offs" and that's where the letters arise from. This is just all a mess and she should be compeled to answer. Maybe the Members should have gotten together and figured out what questions were going to be ask and by whom, but that would take TEAMWORK!!!

    October 30, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  16. Rudy NYC

    Stating the Obvious wrote:

    The standard big lie from the liberals and Democrats. Obamacare essentially made all of these healthcare plans ILLEGAL. The companies could continue to sell them but they would not meet the requirements in the Obamacare law. People buying them would be in violation of the law and subject to fines and penalities.
    --------------------–
    That's right. And wrong.

    Most every existing plan became "illegal" because they did not fully confrom the Patent Protections. Companies would not, and could not, continue to sell them because they, [ the companies, not the People ], would be in violation of the law.

    October 30, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  17. Wire Palladin, S.F.

    Lady Fair – Since you are a resident of MA, you already have an insurance plan that conforms to the new law.

    October 30, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    ""The real comparison: The federal gov't contributes approximately 72%-75% to its employees' health insurance. In the private sector, it averages 82% contribution from employers."

    The conflating is by you. You are equating what a PRIVATE company contributes with the 75% "subsidy" that is footed by the American taxpayer. Please don't be so deliberately intellectually dishonest to say they are the same. One is paid by my employer and the other is paid by the governtment (and the government gets its money from the US taxpayer.) Not. the. same. thing. at. all.

    But hey, now I can get pregnant and it will be covered! Cool."

    What don't you understand about EARNED? What don't you understand about EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT? Equating the federal government's contribution to its employees' health insurance benefits with the subsidy provided under the ACA is dishonest on so many levels it's not even funny. Those employees EARNED that contribution by providing their labor. That contribution by the federal gov't is smaller than the average contributions made by employers in the private sector and you want to complain that it's "unfair"? Moreover, federal employees receiving that contribution cannot also receive the subsidy under the ACA. Just because taxes are used to pay federal employees does not make the employer contribution they receive to their health insurance plans a "subsidy." That's a gross misrepresentation and a lie. The subsidy is only available to people not receiving health insurance through their employer, who are buying their private insurance on the exchanges and who qualify based on their income level. Moreover, it's not 75% across the board...it's on a sliding scale based on income level. Yeah, we get it...you hate federal employees and you resent that you have to pay taxes to pay their salaries and benefits. That taxes pay for two extremely different and distinct things, however, does not turn them into the same thing. Cry me a river.

    October 30, 2013 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  19. Wire Palladin, S.F.

    smith – Not true. The uninsured include middle class people who have pre existing conditions and are one operation away from losing everything. It helps college students to stay on their parent's plans. It helps middle class people who are approaching their life time cap. Please rethink.

    Your pal,

    Wire

    October 30, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  20. just saying

    Tony
    Stating the Obvious (But Wrong),
    Not all of these plans are illegal. Some are grandfathered under Obamacare. Grandfathered plans are those that were in existence on March 23, 2010 and have stayed essentially the same. They can enroll people after that date and still maintain their grandfathered status. So, if you joined a grandfathered plan, you can stay in the plan.
    ----

    so why are millions of americans receiving notice that their health insurance is being cancelled because of obamacare? if what you state is true then this would not be happening. again, these cancellations are directly related to, and caused by obamacare. if the law did not exist, these cancellations would not be happening. and all of this is in direct contradiction (aka a huge lie) to what democrats and especially obama stated many many times.

    the bottom line is that obamacare was passed and forced on the american people based on a huge pack of lies and all those ies are now becoming very obvious to the american people. demorcats and liberals continuing to double down on their lies will only cause more damage. trust me, you can kiss the 2014 elections good bye at this point.

    October 30, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  21. Richard

    When the secretary of health was on the hot seat this morning some of the republicans said that healthcare.gov was down. That was a lie. I went to the one in Maryland and it was not down. The republicans were lying.

    October 30, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  22. Sniffit

    "Why is Ms. Sebelius refusing to acknowlege that the insurance companies are sending letters to people saying they are no longer insured with their previous insurance companies. "

    Because they're not. They're sending letters informing people that their previous plan is ending and that they will be automatically rolled over into the new one that complies with the ACA. They are also desperately offering those same people the opportunity to pick new plans in hopes they will get them to stay away from the exchanges where they might find cheaper solutions than what the current company is offering. In other words, competition is starting to influence the insurance companies and scare them into lowering prices in hopes of keeping customers.

    October 30, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  23. edc3

    Oh, let's see...the Tea Party stunt of closing down the government cost the American taxpayers nearly $30 billion dollars and now the'yre feigning disgust at a botched rollout of a website that they are happy to find fault with. These people will never learn. Each and every year medical costs have risen. They now want to act as if that's not true. Each and every year American citizens were denied the ability to purchase coverage due to having a pre-existing condition like MS or cerebral palsy or autism. They now want to act as if that's not true. Each and every year American citizens were forced to declare bankruptcy due to gargantuan medical costs that their crappy insurance didn't cover or they were unable to have health insurance in the first place. God forbid you're in a car accident. Oh wait....no...folks are required to have car insurance to cover medical costs in case of an accident.

    Thank goodness conservatives will not be taking back the White House or the Senate in any future elections.

    October 30, 2013 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  24. vic , nashville ,tn

    We have many questions (doubts) about ACA, today no one raised those questions It was a circus

    October 30, 2013 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  25. Shawn Christopher

    Most frequent topics – b) the decision to make individuals register before they could browse plans (answer: Michelle Snyder of CMS)

    12:32 p.m. ET
    "Sebelius said the decision to make the change came from Marilyn Tavenner who heads the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in her department.

    Which is it? This blog contradicts itself.

    October 30, 2013 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
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