Wednesday, October 30, 2013

HEALTH EXCHANGES - Spin From Medicare Chief Marilyn Tavenner

"Congress grills Medicare head as some insurance holders get cancellation notices" PBS Newshour 10/29/2013


SUMMARY:  Medicare chief Marilyn Tavenner faced questions on Capitol Hill about the rocky rollout of and the administration's proposed timeline for fixes.  Kwame Holman reports.  Jonathan Gruber of MIT and industry consultant Robert Laszewski join Gwen Ifill for more on Americans whose insurance policies are being canceled.

MARILYN TAVENNER, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services:  To the millions of Americans who have attempted to use to shop and enroll in health care coverage, I want to apologize to you that the website has not worked as well as it should.

KWAME HOLMAN (Newshour):  At the outset, health program administrator Marilyn Tavenner acknowledged the myriad problems with the federal exchange website that launched Oct. 1.

But she ran into Republican skeptics over the administration's new timeline to fix the computer access roadblocks by the end of November.

REP. KEVIN BRADY, R-Tex.:  You had nearly four years to get it ready.  Now you're saying, in four weeks more, it will be great.  So what's different?  Why should anyone believe these claims?

MARILYN TAVENNER:  Because I think we have identified two major problems.  One had to do with the initial volume.  And despite our best volume projections, we underestimated the volume, the interest in the site.  The second thing is, we have found some what I will call functional or glitches, as we call them in the public term, in the actual application itself, which we're repairing.

Like I said, spin.

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