News / USA

Health Secretary Apologizes as Health Care Law Draws More Heat

US Health Secretary Apologizes as Health Care Law Draws More Heati
X
October 31, 2013 4:47 AM
U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has apologized to the American people for the problems preventing many from signing up for health insurance coverage, as President Barack Obama said Wednesday the health care law is still the "strongest protector" for health care consumers. Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee accused the administration of deceiving Americans, criticizing the rollout on everything from website flaws to increased premiums. Carla Babb reports.

Health Secretary Apologizes as Health Care Law Draws More Heat

Carla Babb
U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has apologized to the American people for the problems preventing many from signing up for health insurance coverage, as President Barack Obama said Wednesday the health care law is still the "strongest protector" for health care consumers. Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee accused the administration of deceiving Americans, criticizing the rollout on everything from website flaws to increased premiums. 
 
Kathleen Sebelius, the public face of the government's online health care exchange woes, told Americans she is sorry for the troubled launch of the so-called Obamacare website when testifying before a congressional panel Wednesday.
 
"You deserve better. I apologize. I’m accountable to you for fixing these problems," said Sebelius.
 
Cases abound of Americans struggling with the new system, such as John Tankersley, who has spent three weeks trying to sign up for a health care plan on the website, and Robert Schlora, who's also been trying to get a health care plan since October 1.
 
"I really have no idea whether or not I'll be offered a better plan, whether or not the government will help me subsidize it," said Schlora.
 
With recent elements of his health care program under attack, President Obama has defended its promise.
 
"Today that promise means that every plan in the marketplace covers a core set of minimum benefits like maternity care and preventive care and mental health care and prescription drug benefits and hospitalization, and they can't use allergies or pregnancy or a sports injury or the fact that you're a woman to charge you more," said Obama.
 
The president promised millions of uninsured Americans that they could purchase comprehensive health insurance plans at affordable rates.
 
"Nearly half of all single, uninsured 18-34 year-olds may be able to buy insurance for 50 bucks a month or less, less than your cell phone bill, less than your cable bill," said Obama.
 
However, back on Capitol Hill, Republican lawmakers told Sebelius their constituents are not happy with the changes, which have led to health insurance companies raising costs on some plans and cancelling others.
 
"The result is, this person from Cove, Oregon said 'I was paying $600 per month for a $3,000 deductible. Now it costs me $800 a month for a $5,000 deductible,'" said Greg Walden, a Republican representing Oregon’s 2nd district.
 
"Many of my constituents are reaching out to me, those with individual policies, and they are saying to me that 'my rates are going up 400 percent. My rates are going up 127 percent,'" related Renee Ellmers, a Republican representative for North Carolina.
 
The administration is promising frustrated Americans that the website’s problems will be fixed by late November. Officials say the most important thing is that millions of uninsured Americans will now have access to affordable health care.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Godwin from: Nigeria
October 31, 2013 10:14 AM
It goes beyond affordable healthcare to something only Mr. Obama knows. Surprises me how easily Americans become pulp under a delusive deceit. Mr. Obama referred to maternity costs in his address, who does he deceive with that? Who are the ones to use the maternity healthcare when the men and the women no longer have need for it in USA? Or does he mean mothers of adopted children?

Surprises me how a high-brow society is gulled by one man under a press system that has become worse than a third world praise singer of a potentate. It is well, and until the end of 2016, Americans will have to live in delusion of orchestrated abduction till a messiah comes to their rescue in another president with balanced view of life and living. For all the frustration I see in the country called USA, I can only bemoan, like Cymba in Lion King: 'All I used to know to be true are all lies'. The once quintessential America has become a banana republic, a republic of lies and misrepresentation.


by: Leigh Cote' from: Presque Isle, Maine,
October 31, 2013 9:21 AM
Hello, "TRICK or TREAT", WE need the best its got to be perfect and proffesional with no leaks or mistakes at all, "How about those "BOSTON RED SOX" This was all "TEAM EFFORT" "How to Fix the GLITCHES"Hillary Rodman Clinton, Chancellor Angella Merkel, Samantha Power, Kathleen Sebelius, Susan E. Rice, Rebecca Mairone, Ann Skakel McCooey, Dorothy Moxley, Cheryl R. Campbell, Ann Rauel, Jeanette Weinberg, Janette Sadik-Khan, Linda Rabbitt, Penny McIntrye, Joe Biden, Gary Cohen, Jeffrey D. Zientis, Marylyn Tavenner, not to mention "FILE","EDIT,""VIEW,""SPECIAL,""LABEL,""Sorry a System Error" 16TH of January ,2014 and 16TH of February, 2014, right around the corner of "unclear" 160 Days Left to Enroll can "WASHINGTON,D.C. get their "ACT" together with the "Congress and the Senate" in "WASHINGTON,D.C.!!?? It's "HALLOWEEN".


by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
October 31, 2013 2:39 AM
I would like to ask those who pay $600 to 800 per month for $3,000 to 5,000 deductible their incomes. I also would like to ask those constituents whose insurance rates rise up 127 percent or 400 percent their incomes.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid