KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Sebelius Apologizes For Health Website Troubles, Vows To Get It Fixed

In nearly four hours of testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the secretary of Health and Human Services faced a barrage of complaints about the rollout of the health law.

The Washington Post: Sebelius On Health-Care Law Rollout: 'Hold Me Accountable For The Debacle. I’m Responsible.'
The battle over the government's problem-plagued health-care Web site escalated on Wednesday as Republicans attacked the Obama administration over an array of emerging issues involving the health law, including potential security vulnerabilities on the site and complaints from Americans facing cancellations of existing policies (Kliff, Rucker and Somashekhar, 10/30).

NPR: Congressmen Berate Sebelius For Cancellations, Website Woes
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius headed to Capitol Hill Wednesday for a date with lawmakers frustrated by the rocky rollout of the HealthCare.gov website. What she got at the House Energy and Commerce Committee was four hours of venting from Democrats and Republicans alike (Rovner, 10/31).

The New York Times: Sebelius Apologizes For Health Site's Malfunctions
In three and a half grueling hours of testimony before a House committee, Ms. Sebelius apologized for the missteps and problems in efforts to carry out the president's most important domestic initiative (Pear, 10/30).

Los Angeles Times: Sebelius Apologizes For Obamacare 'Debacle'
Sebelius acknowledged that enrolling in insurance plans through the federal government's online marketplace was a "miserably frustrating experience for way too many Americans" — an observation Republicans repeatedly underscored by pointing to a screen that showed in real time that the website, healthcare.gov, was displaying an error message (Memoli, 10/31).

The Wall Street Journal: Sebelius Apologizes For Health Site's Woes
Despite calls from some Republicans for her resignation, Mrs. Sebelius gave no indication that she had plans to do so, saying she was "committed to earning your confidence back" by fixing the site (Schatz and Radnofsky, 10/30).

The Associated Press: Fact Check: A Sebelius Dodge At Hearing
But her response to Republicans who pressed her Wednesday to sign up under a health insurance exchange was problematic. She said that because she's part of the federal employee health plan, she's not eligible to switch to the exchanges. In fact, Americans who have workplace health insurance, as most with coverage do, can drop it in favor of individual policies offered by the exchanges. But doing so would not make financial sense for most (Woodward, 10/30).

NBC News: 'Miserably Frustrating': Sebelius Apologizes For Glitchy Obamacare Site
The Cabinet secretary responsible for Obamacare apologized Wednesday to Americans frustrated by the glitch-prone website that has blocked them from comparing and enrolling in health insurance plans. Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services, called it "a miserably frustrating experience for way too many Americans." "I am as frustrated and angry as anyone with the flawed launch of healthcare.gov," she told the House Energy and Commerce Committee. "So let me say directly to these Americans: You deserve better. I apologize" (McClam, 10/30).

Kaiser Health News: Health On The Hill: Sebelius Says Healthcare.gov Problems Are Her Responsibility
Kaiser Health News staff writer Mary Agnes Carey and CQ Roll Call's Emily Ethridge discuss the days events on Capitol Hill, including Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius' testimony in which she said she couldn't give firm numbers on how many people have enrolled for health insurance using the website because the data are not yet trustworthy (10/30).

The Fiscal Times: 4 Key Obamacare Questions Sebelius Didn't Answer
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius began her testimony today in front of the House Energy and Commerce Committee with an apology.  So, yes, there was plenty of political grandstanding. But that doesn't gloss over the fact that a lot of questions about ObamaCare remain unanswered. Here are four questions that Americans should still be asking (Wagstaff, 10/30).

Wonkblog: From 'Brosurance' To Tricycles, The Sebelius Hearing Was Pretty Weird
A quick review of five genuinely bizarre topics that have occurred this morning (Kliff, 10/30).

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