Medicare Head on ObamaCare Site: We're Sorry
Marilyn Tavenner is first in White House to testify
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Oct 29, 2013 11:30 AM CDT
Marilyn Tavenner, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, takes her seat on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013.   (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
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(Newser) – The head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the body in charge of, offered the administration's first formal apology for the site during testimony in Congress. "To the millions who have tried to use, we want to apologize to you," Marilyn Tavenner said today, per CBS News. "This initial experience has not lived up to our expectations, or the expectations of the American people, and it is not acceptable." But "it is important to note that the Affordable Care Act is more than just a website." Her testimony opened hearings by the House Ways and Means Committee on the site's rollout.

"I want to assure you that can be fixed, and we are working around the clock to give you the experience that you deserve," Tavenner said, as Politico notes. Also in her testimony:

  • Tavenner addressed concerns that many are losing their coverage because of the health law. "These individuals in a small group, our individual markets, had no protections" prior to ObamaCare, she said, via CNN. They "can call the call center today, and we can help them," she noted.
  • Committee members, meanwhile, voiced concerns about the law and the site. "These problems can’t be fixed through a tech surge, and they’re not just a glitch in someone’s health care coverage," said Republican chair Dave Camp.
  • Camp said he worried low enrollment would boost premiums; Tavenner said the administration expected to see a fairly small figure in mid-November, but said she expected boosts in December and March. Citing healthy market competition, she said, "So far what we've seen is the absolute opposite of what you're suggesting."