Sebelius to CNN: health-care law phone centers have logged more than a million calls

October 23, 2013
FILE: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testifies before a House Education and the Workforce Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, June 4, 2013. (REUTERS/Jim Bourg) FILE: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testifies before a House Education and the Workforce Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, June 4, 2013. (REUTERS/Jim Bourg)

The call centers now handling many individuals' enrollment applications under the Affordable Care Act have received more than a million calls, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told CNN Tuesday night.

"The call centers are open for business. We’ve had a million, one hundred thousand calls," Sebelius to CNN host Sanjay Gupta, who is a doctor. She added that people can sign up for health insurance under the federal marketplaces as well. "So people are able to sign up."

In the interview, Sebelius said President Obama did not know before the launch that HealthCare.gov was experiencing such severe glitches. "I think it became clear fairly early on, the first couple of days," she said.

Explaining why the agency had brought on former Office of Management and Budget acting director Jeffrey Zients to oversee the Web site repair, Sebelius said, "We [had] hoped that they had their 'A-Team' on the table" from the beginning.

But at this point, she added, "We want new eyes and ears. We want to make sure that we get all the questions on the table, that we get all the answers and accelerate the fix as quickly as possible."

 

 

Juliet Eilperin is The Washington Post's White House bureau chief, covering domestic and foreign policy as well as the culture of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. She is the author of two books—one on sharks, and another on Congress, not to be confused with each other—and has worked for the Post since 1998.
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