October 18th, 2013
06:52 AM ET

Kathleen Sebelius Under Fire Over Obamacare

This morning on "New Day," we take a look at just-released poll numbers that may spell big trouble for the GOP heading into next year's mid-term elections. The new numbers are coming out, just as Democrats prepare to do some damage control.

Also, later today, the President is set to address the Obamacare website glitches at the White House.

We break those stories down and more at 6am ET on CNN. Join us!



The deal ending the shutdown may not have put a dent in Obamacare, but the battle over implementing the health coverage law is not over.

One venue that Republicans are turning to for leverage, starting next week: oversight hearings, beginning with some tough questions about why the rollout of the website for enrolling in health care exchanges is having so many problems.

"The American people deserve to know what caused this mess," said Rep. Fred Upton, R-Michigan, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. "Delays and technical failures have reached epidemic proportions."

Upton has already asked officials from the Department of Health and Human Services to brief his committee on the problems at a hearing scheduled for next Thursday. He also is asking them to turn over records of their communications with website contractors about the preparations for the site's launch, and the problems people have had trying to use it.

Additionally, the chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Rep. Darrell Issalast week wrote to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius demanding information about the rollout problems. Joining him was Sen. Lamar Alexander, ranking Republican on the Senate committee on health, education, labor and pensions.


As CNN's Brian Todd reports, Sebelius has become the face of the technical glitches plaguing Obamacare.

On a tour promoting Obamacare this week, Sebelius said, "Now, I'll be the first to tell you that the website launch was rockier than we would have liked."

But that isn’t stopping potential customers from shopping.

“A company that analyzes web-traffic says after the first week online– out of all those who attempted to sign up through the federal exchange, just 1% ended up enrolling in Obamacare,” Todd reports.

“Administration officials say that's not accurate-but they're still not giving any specific numbers on enrollments. We have to emphasize: that company's data is un-official, and it's just a snapshot. It doesn't include state-run exchanges.”

soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. ngcbri

    HHS Secretary has agreed to testify before a congressional committee, this Thursday. Heard that on the news this morning. And Joe the number I read for the web-site was between 400 mil to 500 mil. But it wouldn't surprise me to repair the site it come to a billion.

    October 22, 2013 at 10:25 am | Reply
  2. Rege

    Nationalize all Healthcare and have a single payer system. Problem fixed. Republicans have made insurance so complicated they make the Byzantines look plain.

    October 21, 2013 at 9:25 am | Reply
  3. Roger

    Why is the rollout of the Obamacare website having an issue? Anyone who works in the IT industry can tell you implimentation of a software roll out this large is bound to have issues. Last year I was part of a software roll out in a 1500 bed hospital. To say it didn't go smoothly is an understatement. Before the GOP wastes more of the taxpayer's money, they should look at other large scale software/website rollouts to see exactly how difficult it is to accomodate 100s of thousands of people attempting to access the same database at the same time. Try looking at issues the gaming companies have rolling out highly anticipated games. Even when they're expecting issues and think they have them covered before the rollout, more pop up.

    October 21, 2013 at 8:53 am | Reply
  4. Jimmy

    Obama doesn't fire Sibelius because she kisses his butt? Sounds pretty unlikely to me. Can you dig deeper?

    October 21, 2013 at 8:40 am | Reply
  5. Ken

    Jerry, I hope you get on the site so you can get back on your meds.

    October 21, 2013 at 8:02 am | Reply
  6. Jerry

    Kathleen Sebelius under fire over (Screwing up) ObamaCare: Any other HHS Secretary would have been fired on the spot, long ago. But since Sebelius kisses Obama's butt, that will not be happening any time soon. After inefficiently spending (blowing?) almost a billion $$ just on the Web site for the idiotic ObamaCare rollout, this woman should be banished from running any governmental programs for life.

    But, most Américans know that Obama does not have the "bolas" to take the necessary and needed action. And, then Obama's administration asks Américans to tighten our belts?!

    Mr. Bully-in-Chief PLEASE start doing what is really right and needed for América!!!

    October 21, 2013 at 6:09 am | Reply
    • Joe

      Really! A billion dollars for a website, Did u just pull that number out of your a**?

      October 21, 2013 at 8:54 am | Reply
    • lloyd roberts

      It's you again Jerry, the, "I know people" Jerry, is that you. Sounds like you. Never had trouble when a company rolled out a new web site. Did you know CNN was down in my area for half the weekend. What is the republican excuse gonna be when the techies fix the site, like this has never happened yet to any other site. Ever think the RNC website is down or you think it works perfectly all the time. Do you even know what the RNC is or you're just a paid troll

      October 21, 2013 at 9:02 am | Reply

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