Thursday, October 31, 2013

POLITICS - Secretary Sebelius Before U.S. House Committee

"Sebelius apologizes over website launch 'debacle' but contends it is secure" PBS Newshour 10/30/2013


KWAME HOLMAN (Newshour):  For Secretary Sebelius, the first order of business before the Energy and Commerce Committee was mea culpa.

KATHLEEN SEBELIUS, U.S. Health and Human Services:  I am as frustrated and angry as anyone with the flawed launch of  So, let me say directly to these Americans:  You deserve better.  I apologize.  I am accountable to you for fixing these problems, and I'm committed to earning your confidence back by fixing the site.

KWAME HOLMAN:  But Sebelius faced new questions that go beyond technical problems on the website.  They involve a government memo showing, before the site launched on October 1, Medicare officials worried inadequate testing left it vulnerable to security breaches.

REP. MIKE ROGERS, R-Mich.:  You allowed the system to go forward with no encryption on backup systems.  They had no encryption on certain boundary crossings.

You accepted a risk on behalf of every user of this computer that put their personal financial information at risk because you didn't even have the most basic end-to-end tests on security of the system.  Amazon would never do this.  ProFlowers would never do this.  Kayak would never do this.  This is completely an unacceptable level of security.

COMMENT:  Before I fully retired I worked for two companies (9yrs & 5yrs) where the companies change health insurers twice.  Which meant I had to choose new doctors, etc.  So having health coverage canceled for those who buy on there own should not be a surprise, especially with the new minimums on what is covered, and more coverage would mean higher premiums.

The mistake Obama made is the choice of words.  He should have said, "If you like your health insurance provider, you can keep them," which does not imply the same plan at the same price.

"President Obama defends ACA benefits, confronts cancellation claims" PBS Newshour 10/30/2013


SUMMARY:  President Obama told a crowd in Boston that he is "not happy" about the rocky rollout, but assured Americans the site would be fixed as soon as possible.  The president also touted the benefits of the ACA and disputed claims that health care reform has caused some insurance plans to be cancelled.

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