Transcript for Part 1: HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius Testifies Before Congress
This is a special room. Good morning I'm -- Cutler -- New York where this ABC news digital special report expect fireworks on Capitol Hill today over the Obama -- website debacle health and human services secretary Kathleen Sebelius. In the hot seat today many demanding answers her job on the line and as we hear some opening statements be -- at the hearing. But first I -- go to ABC's Mary -- watching it -- unfold outside the White House this morning. Mary what are we hearing the latest on this as far as how the secretary will be answer some of these tough questions today. All the finger pointing won't be in full effect today Dan we expect the secretary will point the finger at some of these private contractors. That helps to build health -- dot gov saying that they are responsible for all of these glitches and problems with the roll out -- of course she won't be able to just blame the contractors. But that's where she's gonna start in her opening remarks here. Of course we're talking -- the timing of things as well we -- in this morning and again there was a problem with actually logging -- -- the web site. That's right -- -- the list of issues just keeps growing that website is not up and running fully just yet. We know that an administration officials have said that by the end of next month -- expect all these problems to be fixed. They continued to stress that these problems are fixable and that there is an end in sight but keep in mind if these problems are fixed by the end of next month. That is still two months into this six month roll out so still a huge embarrassment for this administration even if these problems are accidentally. And with that deadline still firmly in place by the White House then we can see the secretary's been sworn in before this morning's testimony which we will go into in just a moment as she begins. But marry the one thing is clear though there is a growing number of Republicans in congress demanding -- -- stepped down. Or be relieved of her duties but what about Democrats is are they still solidly supporting her. This administration is standing by secretary of civilians they're trying to focus on fixing the problems and not on assigning blame. Keep in mind this is a president who does not like to fire people. They don't want to focus on the -- they want to focus on the future and fixing the problems at hand. All right ABC's -- -- outside the White House now let's go into the here is born years ago. For the opportunity to continue work I've been doing for most of -- over 35 years of public service. To expand the opportunities for all Americans regardless of geography and gender or income. To have affordable health coverage. During my years as a state legislator as an elected insurance commissioner as head of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. And -- a two term governor and now -- HHS secretary. I have worked on that effort that I cared deeply about. There's still millions of Americans who are uninsured. As well as under insured. People who have some coverage at some -- for some illness. But have no real protection from financial ruin and no real confidence they'll be able to take care of themselves and their families if they have an accident borne illness. And for them a new day has finally come. In these early weeks access to health -- -- has been a miserably frustrating experience for way too many Americans. Including many who have waited years. In some cases their entire lives for of the -- security of health insurance. I -- is frustrated and angry as anyone with a flawed launch of health -- dot gov. So let me say directly to these Americans you deserve better. I apologize. I'm accountable to you for fixing these problems. And I'm committed to earning your confidence back by fixing the site. We're working day and night and will continue until it's fixed. We've recently added new management talent additional technical expertise in a new general contractor to identify prioritize. And manage fixes across the system in two broad categories. Performance which deals with speed and reliability and function. Which deals with bugs and problems in the system. Our extensive assessment. Has determined that health -- dot gov is fixable. And I want to just -- a couple of the improvements we've made today. We now more users. Successfully creating accounts we can process up to 171000 account registrations per hour. Or nearly five per second. Instead of some of the users seeing a blank screen at the end of the application process they can now see whether -- -- eligible for financial assistance and make more informed decisions. Because we've improved performance customers can now shop for plans quickly filtering plans takes seconds not minutes. Users are getting fewer errors in time out messages as they move through the application process. And the system has been strengthened with double the size of servers software that's better optimize and -- high capacity physical database. Which replaces a virtual system. The chairman referred to outages this weekend and again yesterday. And I would suggest to the committee that if you read this statement -- Verizon who hosts the cloud service. It is the Verizon server that failed not healthcare dug up in an affected. Not only HHS but other customers. We still have a lot of work to do with a plan in place to address -- outstanding issues. It includes fixing bugs in software that prevented it from working the way it's a post him. And refreshing the user experience of folks can navigate the site without encountering air messages timeout and slow response times and by the end of November. We're committed that the vast majority of users will be able to review their options shop for plans and rolling coverage without the problems -- too many. Have been experiencing. -- consumers are using the site every day and continue to reduce. And problems are being sought. But we know that we don't have a fully functioning system that consumers need and user. We are still at the beginning of the six month open enrollment which extends through the end of march and there's plenty of time -- sun up. Just a put -- perspective the average open enrollment for an insurance plan is two to four weeks. The new marketplaces at 26 week opener wrong and those who ruled by December 15. We'll be able to access their benefits on day one. Even with the unacceptable problems with health care dot which we are committed to fixing. The Affordable Care Act by any fair measure is working for millions of Americans. We're benefiting from new health security young adults Americans living with preexisting health condition seniors on Medicare. 85%. Of Americans who already have health coverage are protected with new rights and benefits. The 15%. Of our neighbors and friends who are uninsured. And affordable new options in a competitive market. And cost growth for health care is lower than it's been in years. Millions of Americans are clearly eager to learn about their options and to finally achieve health security made possible by the Affordable Care Act. My commitment is to deliver comment -- -- -- -- thank you very much. Yet if you there might get -- a little -- from you. -- -- I appreciate you being here this morning and we've worked with our leadership to see that we don't have votes -- house floor this -- who won't be in erupted. I appreciate your. Your. Your time for sure and in an effort to allow every -- to ask -- question we're going to be reducing. The time for questions to be just four minutes so hopefully we can get through. All the members that are here. -- any pretty fast with the -- mean to say so we've got plenty of questions so let's trying get through them. You know I think everyone in America remembers the president's words. If you like your health care plan you can keep it. Period the Affordable Care Act insurance policies that -- in effect on March 23 twenty tan. When the law was enacted would be grandfather. In a few months later despite the president's word. You all HHS. Help promulgate a new and. It in your own review -- that effectively could deny perhaps as many as more than 50%. May be even higher. Of those holding individual policies the right to written to their own insurance plan. And I would guess that there are a lot of us on this panel today that are hearing from angry and confused constituents. Who are now being forced to go on to an inept website whether they like it or not. -- to shop for a new replacement policy. They're finding premiums. Often more than a 100% what their pain before. Some even as high -- 400%. Is I've heard from and rising deductibles as well. So when was the president specifically informed. Of the regulation change. -- -- -- was it pointed out that this totally undermines its biggest selling point in I would you know. It on the screen in a statement that he made. More than three years after the regulation change was propagated. The president said again so the first thing -- unit need to know is this -- -- party of health care you don't have to do anything. So he's been on the same page from the very start. -- the regulations changed months after the bill was enacted. That are now causing. Perhaps millions of Americans to be denied the ability. To renew their individual coverage. Why was that changed me and did the president know. Mr. chairman that was no change the regulation involving grandfathered plans which applied to both he. Employer market and the individual market indicated that if a plan. That was in effect in march of twenty -- stayed in effect without. Unduly burdening the consumer with reducing benefits and adding on huge costs that plan would stay in effect and never have to comply with any of the regulations of the Affordable Care Act that's what the grandfather clause that. The individual market which affects about twelve million Americans. About 5% of the market people move in -- out. They often have coverage for less than a year of a third of them have coverage for about six months. And if the plan was in place in march of 2010 and again did not impose additional burdens on the consumer they still have -- it's grandfathered in. But why not let the consumer decide when they want to renew it or not why was why were regulations promulgate in the summer of twenty -- that Dan. Undermine the ability for those folks to -- -- which is one of the reasons for the -- similar no regulation OK we outlined the grandfather policies of people could keep their own plan. We then began to implement the other features of the Affordable Care Act so if someone is buying a brand new policy in the individual market today. Or last week they will have consumer protections for the first time many people in the under. Individual market are medically under written that will be illegal. Many women are charged 50% more than men that will be illegal you cannot. Again eliminate someone because of -- preexisting health conditions can't dump someone out -- lock -- one -- of those provisions. But if -- a plan is in place and was in place at the time that the president signed the bill and the consumer wants to keep the plan. Those individuals are grandfathered in and that's happening across the country in the individual market. We're learning infected folks who did have a plan like did in -- are being told it's canceled in the in the last I'm -- time -- expired let me. -- two the ranking member mr. Waxman for -- Thank you mr. chairman I have to smile at your line of questioning. Because everybody expected this hearing was about the web site that's all we've been hearing about is the web site. But that's not the only complaint we've been hearing about since the Affordable Care Act was adopted. We were told. By our Republican friends that millions of jobs would be lost and in fact -- bid to gain of seven million jobs they said that -- the that puts the cost for health care would skyrocket and in fact the opposite is true. They should there be a massive shift to part time jobs at the evidence doesn't support that they since tens of millions will lose their insurance. But in fact everybody in this country's -- have access to health insurance. Because they won't be discriminated against they said that they would explode the deficit. And yet all the reputable organizations like the Congressional Budget Office. -- told us that it's gonna save us hundred billion dollars over ten years so we've had a litany of objections from the Republicans. About the Affordable Care Act. Which is driven them to such a frenzy. They've been close the government. So that we have you before the committee. And you're being asked I suppose later you'll be asked about the web site but let me pursue this question about. Individuals have gotten notices. That. Their -- -- there individual. Insurance policies canceled. W public about the plan won't thing. Actually it's the law that they must now plan continuous coverage as part of the -- So. And that wasn't the case in the past so the affordable care -- We're gonna end the worst abuses of insurance companies we're gonna create. Consumer protections in the marketplace. That they will be able to buy a policy even -- they'd been sick in the past. That women won't be charged more than -- That we're not that -- insurance companies deny coverage. Because of preexisting conditions -- we're not -- let -- put these lifetime caps and they'll be an essential benefit package so you're not just buying some things. And not having other things covered you're gonna have the minimum that everybody should have prescription drugs mental health coverage doctors and hospitals. Are these important consumer protections. -- I would say mr. Waxman they're very important as a former insurance commissioner I can tell you that the individual market. In Kansas and anywhere in the country has never had consumer protections people are on their own. They could be locked out priced out dumped out and that happened each and every day. So this will finally provide the kind of protections that we all enjoy in our health care plans as part of a group as part of plan that has read it. Renegotiated benefits we enjoy that kind of health security and individuals in that. Buying insurance on their own farm families entrepreneurs mom and pop. Shops young adults have never had that kind of health security. Now they're gonna have this health security. And most of the plans as I understand it -- that they're no longer going to be able to keep. Don't meet all the standards of the law. Again I think you may have heard Pat Garrity from Florida blues who is on some of the Sunday shows and he. The Florida plans want to keep their customers they have new plans to offer. They feel that a lot of people in these -- mr. Garrity is words will have a much better plan at a similar or lower costs 50%. Of these eleven to twelve million people qualify for a subsidy qualify for financial help purchasing insurance for the first time ever. The bottom line is that people. With good coverage like Medicare Medicaid employer coverage can keep that. People with grandfathered plans in the individual market will be able to keep it. -- insurance companies sold -- New modified health insurance policy after the date of the enactment that does not meet the law's standards. Then those people will be able to go into the exchange and by a real. Solid health insurance plan that won't discriminate against them or anybody else. I think that's a good result that pleased with -- and I think most people will be as. -- time is credited -- recognize the vice chair of the committee and -- but -- Thank you mr. chairman madam secretary gearing. Before during and after is. Law was passed the president kept saying if you like your health care plan you can keep -- so is he keeping his promise. Yes he has -- K. What do you say to the 300000 people in Florida just mentioned -- -- -- 28000 in Tennessee they cannot. Get health insurance -- plan to terminate it is he keeping his promise to them. Well first of all congresswoman they can get health insurance they must be offered new plans new options. Either inside the market place or if they don't qualify for -- Financial subsidy they can shop like and a stake to -- they absolutely will have new cut you say -- NBC news he says millions are going to lose their coverage. Well in all. Deference to that press corps many of whom are here today. I think that it's it's important to be accurate about what is going on and I would deferred again to the president nothing is planned re playing -- -- I'm ongoing coverage they will be offered new plans madam secretary let me tell you aren't right now we'll we'll. Qualify what do you say to -- Sunday in my district. His had a plan that you liked it it was affordable. But it is being terminated and now they do not have health insurance insurance companies cancel individual policies -- -- here at their one year contract with. Individuals they are not lifetime plan let me an employer plant. You're let me -- -- let -- have not it's not they wanted it cavalry nineteen. Some people like to drive a Ford not a Ferrari and some people liked to drink out of a red Solo Cup on the crystal stamp. You're taking -- their choice. -- -- a screen shot up. I want to go to the cost of the web site and talk about the web -- this is what is happening right now with this website we've had somebody. In the back trying to sign on it is a day -- It is not working. Last week I asked for the cost from each of the contractors that were with us last week. So can you give me a ballpark of what you have spent on this web site that does not work. That individuals cannot get to. What -- cost estimate to. So far congresswoman. We have spent. About a 118. Million dollars on the web site itself and about 56 million dollars has been. Expended on other ITT to support the web. A -- would you said Matt AD detailed accounting of exactly what has been spat. And windy you expect constituents to shot getting based kind of -- messages. Again I was with the talk to the president Verizon over the weekend on two occasions Verizon host the clout. Which is not part of the web site it is a host for a number of web site. The Verizon. System. Was taken down Saturday night into Sunday was down almost all they Sunday they had an additional problem that they notified us about yesterday. And it continues on so I'd be happy that. Talk to the president Verizon. And get -- OK let me information about let me come back to that because I want to get to this issue of exactly who is in charge of best. Project Buckeyes -- now blaming it on the contractors and saying -- Verizon's fault so let me ask you this did you ever. Look at out sourcing the role of the system integrator and obviously you did not. From the contractors that we had last week. You all they had several different people whether it was you or Gary -- and our Michelle -- So who is responsible. For overseeing this project is -- you are your -- Let me be clear I'm not pointing fingers at her -- and I'm trying to explain the way the site operates we are we on the site. The site has had serious problems I -- in charge madam secretary. The person now in charge as an integrator is QSSI one bar knew was in charge as it was -- -- -- was in charge. To -- that team new is the individual Elsa Schneider is the -- else neither is the one responsible for this debacle. Excuse me congresswoman Michelle Snyder is not responsible for the debacle hold me accountable for that the bottom I'm responsible thank you I -- back. Chad recognize. Mr. -- from the great state of Michigan. Thank you for your -- saying. I have your questions are being asked you on behalf cars to Shea-Porter -- do it by writing ask unanimous consent that I be permitted to revise -- -- -- -- objection. Mr. chairman I would like to -- good -- thinking you know. Welcoming secretary. To a room in which her distinguish father former governor of all served for so many years. I begin my questions via. According -- -- expert for whom I have -- -- respect. He said as follows as I mentioned earlier that no benefits and its implementation are hardly perfect. Rather than trying to secured just scared confuse seniors I would hope that we can work together as we go through the implementation place phase. To find out what is -- the program and if we can make some changes to friction. Let us do what and let us -- -- a bipartisan fashion it is to have bigger program and is too important to many people do that. But having said that it does apparent that it is working letters submitted you know at -- -- -- dead or. My beloved friend. Mr. -- Who I think gave us the beginning of our efforts today. Secretary. I've seen reports that consumers receiving. Planned cancellation notices from -- -- companies saying that plans are no longer available. Does the -- require insurers. Is to discontinue the plans -- people had fled the law was passed gesture ago. Not when the law was passed at the plans have not changed that's the grandfather clause. Now that's because supplies existed prior to passage of -- our grandfather dead. As yours that's correct. -- -- flood insurance company is no longer offers certain plan that's because that insurance company. Made a decision. To change -- -- policy. And that caused them. To take away their grandfather status from that there are good church purchasers -- -- Now answer -- our -- submit for the record. A statement reported is we can do about it church is that -- right canceling. The policy is. There -- people. And I don't have time did get the answer but. I want to get a break first statement from view as to what you can do so we can actually scared off some folks that -- -- coming. A matter secretary is by understanding that these decisions. -- -- business character are -- product in the individual insurance market. And that much turnover already exists existed prior to the enactment of the legislation. That's it is that correct answer is -- correct at 3567%. Of their growers in the individual market. Leave their plan after one year for different reasons. A third -- in a bad. Less than six months in the individual market and over 50% are in for less than a year yes. Dollar ended the cancellation letters. Which. Move around from the insurance covers -- insurance coverage or suggest your alternative plan and our rights. They have the right to do that. They have a right to do that -- but it and she. Consumers have a right to shop anywhere to compare plans and they have choices now that they've never had before and some financial assistance and that -- -- waived her old right as -- -- it for cash that I'll ask on the ensure no one is rolled over into a plan. And in fact individuals for the first time ever we'll have the ability to compare plans to shop and to make a choice inside or outside the marketplace. -- -- likely insurance coverage are trying true. And reflect on there -- other customers. To view that this is their right that this is the only option available to and that is that correct. Well -- I think that insurance companies would like to keep their customers. Having said that customers for the first time have a lot of choices because they cannot be locked out I have no right to enforce that view of the pastor there is no rule that says you have to stay with your company argue have to be rolled over and you don't Gemma designers -- Salerno one might come forward and tell you that you've got to buy a particular policies -- -- absolutely. -- is time is expired. -- recognize -- from Texas mr. Barton. Thank you mr. chairman before I ask my questions we have a former member of the committee on the Democrats signed. From the great state of Kansas in the audience mr. Slattery unclear where we're glad to have you and madam secretary we're glad to have you to. Thank you -- there is a famous movie call the wizard of as. And in the wizard of is there is a great line. North the at some point in the movie turns to her little dog Toto and says -- we're not in Kansas anymore. Well madame secretary while you're from Kansas we're not in Kansas anymore. Some might say that we are actually in The Wizard of Oz land given the parallel universe is we have -- appear to be. -- -- -- mr. Waxman in most of those on the Democrat side think things are great. You apparently Ali did apologize and you have said it's a debacle. You also seem to think that the Affordable Care Act is great. -- myself and others. I have a different view. Ultimately the American people will decide. Now last week when the contractors were here -- focus my attention. On the apparent lack of privacy in the web site. If we'll put up the first -- that I had last week. If we can. This this is what's public madam secretary. In it's it's basically a disclaimer. This says that any unauthorized attempt to upload information -- change information -- -- is prohibited. It really doesn't same thing about privacy but you do have to accept that in order to go -- with the application. The next slide shows what's not public. This is in the source code. We tried to determine this morning who was still in the source code that has been pointed out the web -- -- this is much more. What I would say. Frightening to me. It says you have no reasonable expectation of privacy regarding any communication or data transiting -- stored on the information system. At any time in for any lawful government purpose. The government may monitor intercept search and seize any communication or data transiting or stored on the information system. Any communication or data transiting -- -- on this information system may be disclosed -- used for any lawful government purpose. Cheryl Campbell of CGI federal said she was aware of it that said that it was an herb. Responsibility to put that in the source code. Were you aware of it and was it your responsibility to put this in the source. Mr. Barton Hyde did not put things in the source code I can tell you it's my understanding that that is. Boilerplate language that should not have been in this particular contract because there are the highest security standards are in place and people have every right to expect privacy. -- on them -- the last time we could check that this was still there. You're given. Almost unlimited authority under the Affordable Care Act two. To -- ministry will you commit to the committee into the American people. The one you do want to protect their privacy and two you will. Take this out fixes make sure that it it doesn't have. Bearing on people that Trout -- a plot to the -- side. Essar and we have have those discussions with CGI and it is under way I do absolutely commit to protecting the privacy of the American public and we have asked them to remove that statement it is. -- an air in. Needs to be taken down and we should be held accountable for protecting privacy. Thank you madame secretary -- I sincerely appreciate that -- Hampshire the American people. Due to my last question -- it's really comment I've introduced HR 3340 today. Which says let's make this system voluntary for the first year since we're having so many problems and let the American people decide. What that means is if people choose not participate they would not be charged the penalty for non participation. Would you support such a reasonable. Approach to this while we work out the problems in the system. Answer. And lots of honest they gentleman's time has expired. Thank you manage their -- would recognize -- from -- mr. Paul. Thank you mr. chairman. I know we're not in Kansas but I do believe increasingly we're in it's because of what I see here -- so. This Wizard of -- comment my colleague from a Texas I think is particularly. Apropos given -- We hear on the other side of the -- I don't know how you keep your cool madam secretary you know with this continuous effort on the part of the GO pizza. Sabotage the ACA to scare people. And bring up -- hearings and I think that this privacy issue is another -- red Herring Communists who question about that but before that. I just wanted to say this whole idea this being brought up today that somehow. You know. Policies are being canceled and people don't -- -- -- and -- red Herring. You know what I think my colleagues on the other side forget is that this is not socialized medicine this is in fact private insurance in a competitive market. And -- -- an insurance company and all of a sudden everyone else is set selling a better policy -- better benefits at a lower price. I can't continue to sell a lousy skeletal policy that doesn't provide benefits and cost more because I'll be out of the market. And so that's what's happening here -- insurance companies are canceling a lousy policies with high prices because they can't compete. And that's what's going to happen when you have a private insurance market which is what we have here we don't have a government controlled system. We have private markets -- wanted to make that point but I have to drill down on what mr. Barton said here you know before reform the individual insurance market was dysfunctional. Premiums would shoot up if people got sick -- coverage could be canceled if they had a preexisting condition and they did not have secure quality coverage. I've heard my Republican colleagues say that patient health information will be at risk in this application -- Process. And this is flat out faults in fact the AC it makes a giant leap forward for protecting health information. By taking it completely out of the insurance application process by banning discrimination based on preexisting conditions mr. Barton again is you know raising this red Herring just like the cancellation of insurance. By talking about privacy but madam secretary prior to the -- when people applied friends -- coverage. Did insurers make them provide a long -- -- invasive medical history. But now because the law bans discrimination based on preexisting conditions individuals will not have to provide this information in their applications. So regardless of this clause. Please comment on the privacy issue invites -- relevant. -- -- in the past. Any individual American who was in an employer based coverage in government coverage like the ones we -- way. In. Medicare in Medicaid in the VA apple variety of plans that's about 95% of insured Americans. Had no medical underwriting had group protections -- consumer protections for people. Who were outside that consumer protected space where individuals buying their own coverage in an individual market. Medical underwriting demanding health records and often going through extensive doctor interviews and getting health records. Was a standard for that market. Pricing could vary widely depending on gender depending on health condition people could be denied coverage and were frequently. That's the market that is currently. Being reformed with consumer protections if a person had a policy in place in March 2010 -- that policy in the insurance company made no changes. To disadvantage the consumer those policies are in place you keep your plan you like it and that goes on. For the people who though had a medically under written policy we're paying more than their neighbor because they happen to be female. Could not get. There health condition -- fixed tip. Written in to. They will have a new day in a very competitive market 25% the insurers. Our brand into the market and they are offering competitive plans -- The -- chairman. Tonight is this that the -- documented in the record that all but in the right without objection thank you -- recognized mr. hall. -- thank you mr. chairman. -- -- -- I think congresswoman black we're gonna ask you about the federal government how much they spent today and there can spend some money at which -- RTH down right now. Then are you had a huge projected -- -- problem. I'm sorry -- I'm having a hard time hearing what was it. She asked you how much did. -- spent today and I'm asking you what you expect to pay in addition of that on the repairs -- -- web -- requirement requirements which speak here. So those are things you project you knew they would happen and they will happen but you surely looked -- and you have some management what is going to happen. Yes -- or -- coach. For our two major contractors. Who are. US -- side. Subsidiary. United and for. CGI. There are obligated amendments -- CGI who is in charge of the entire application. There has -- a 197. Million dollars obligated. And that is am to lasts through march of 2014. And as I said before. Billion dollars has been expended in -- obligated amount. -- Gotta be here on. Chronic fourteen and -- your testimony correctly okay. I'm just in the I'm just jokingly he hope. Okay and if were you born in -- -- made -- I was not I was born in Cincinnati Ohio I married at -- and went to you know. Oh in the third grade they're not gonna show you -- practical route one. Well it it was an allusion. Let me ask your question have you ever rejected a financial bail from one of the contractors. Have you ever. Have I ever rejected a financial -- from one. Sir again. IR. -- an allegation that he -- accounting office does a routine audit and review of every bill that comes in before they do I do not personally I wanna be very accurate about. I don't personally. Pay contracts negotiate contracts by -- and by precedent that's really illegal. For someone who isn't it warranted contract officer to engage in the debate or discussion around federal contracts. How much his administration spent on the exchanges in total not just health care -- but all of the exchange. And sir I had difficulties that figure to give me if you can't give it to me I I would like to get it -- and writing very quickly. Men Schechter a black don't have much time -- black talk about a couple of businesses in my district who are struggling with how to move forward. Wanted to manufacture and -- -- in the pit boarding in training and made it one has a plan employees you know that -- prosecution quote from from -- -- The situation orient we would have -- 170000. Dollars in penalties under Obama -- this is another example the government pick in the winner's -- here we have the looters. There's no way -- can be competitive if I have to -- my press -- to cover hundreds and dollars. Here are my options did not pay the penalty -- -- -- go out of business. -- fat people lose -- lay -- 35 employees. Who don't have to pay the penalty and move more production to this country -- 35 job and here's a quote from the -- Sensor labored low margin business cannot afford to pay for -- and church for an imposed we're faced. Would say that clothes and have been perhaps through bankruptcy though their heavy financial obligation -- it would companion -- -- not. Far enough employees to get a 150 employees -- and -- -- eventually even if we close location -- -- Many expansions such as rental agreement on -- must -- -- these people. -- -- right I think that in them. Employer market about 95% of all American businesses are exempt from any kind of requirement cover employer. Employee insurance. And they are outside the law they continue to be outside the law but they will have some new options for those who want to cover their employees and some new tax credit possibilities. For large employers about 96%. -- -- cover. There employees and as you know the penalty that here. Constituents referred to. Is not. A penalty that is imposed in 2014. It is being discussed with business is about what kind of information is change and it will. Take place -- Afghanistan as -- he's gonna use again on me if you don't. Damaged -- he -- my time to understand is that Taylor recognized only from California -- issue. Thank you mr. chairman. Welcome madam secretary. -- distinguished woman. You have. Distinguished yourself and your state the offices that you count and now working for the American people in -- salute to four it. I want to really -- congratulate my Republican House for being absolutely. 1000%. Consistent. You love what's wrong with the web site. And -- But let's get back to the web site because that's what the hearing -- about. It's my understanding that November 31. Is C. Is a hard date -- for having everything up and running. Do you have. Now HHS did testify in September -- that they were a 100% confident. That the site would be launched in fully functional on time on October 1. That didn't work. Do you have full confidence in this new hard date. -- -- I can tell you that the assessment that we have made. Is that. It will take until the end of November for an optimal only functioning web site. I know that the only way I can restore confidence that we get it right is to get it right. So I I have I have confidence but I know that. It it isn't fair to ask the American public to take our word for it I've got to fix this problem and we are under -- doing just that. But are you confident that I think I said November 31 which is I thought it was -- -- not exist but. But November 30. You have confidence in November 30 I do. Is there any penalty to QSSI. Or CGI. For not delivering on what they promised. I think the as you can -- we have paid. Obligated funds for a contract we certainly have not expended all those funds. And we expect. Not only this EMS team but our contractor partners to fulfill. They're obligations. And but -- -- to fulfill their obligations I don't know what's in the contract. -- higher penalty -- theories and a built in penalty but I can tell you that paying for work that isn't complete is not something that we will do. -- -- you know has taken on a new role as integrator -- of the hub that they built and have. In operation is is working extremely well not only for the federal exchanges but all the state. Based markets are using the hub and and that's why we had confidence in -- ability to actually take this next. Roll on and coordinate the activities moving forward which have to be driven. With it very clear set of outcomes. Theory accountable time lines and deadlines and they will be helping to manage that process. This. On the issue of that security. There was a security breach that -- rose recently that I read about at any rate. And what I think is very important here because the issue of privacy has been raised and I think that that has been answered. -- because very importantly there isn't any health information in these systems but there is financial. Information. So my question to you is has -- security wall that built. And are you confident. That it is there and that it will actually secure the financial information. That. Applicants. -- have to do -- disclose. Yes ma'am I I would tell you that there was not a breach there was -- the -- by a sort of skilled hacker that if a certain series of incidents occurred you could possibly getting in and obtain somebody's. Personally I think that -- -- isn't that telling and we immediately. Corrected that problem so there wasn't a it was theoretical problem that was immediately fixed I would tell you we are storing the minimum amount of data. Because we think that's very important. The hub is not -- data collector. It is actually using data centers at the IRS at Homeland Security at Social Security adults to verify information but its stores none of that that. We thank you don't. One of the Channel 8 times -- chairman expires. Can recognize pitchers in its. Mr. aren't welcome madam secretary. And secretary for -- questions the Washington Post. Gave the administration in the present yourself for Tokyo's on this whole debate of if you like the insurance you have you can keep it. Would you recommend to the president that he stopped using that term. -- -- be helpful in this debate. -- Sarah I think he used the term at the time that the law was passed and and as of September 46 also so that's why week or. Broke though the answers you don't abide you don't believe that's what I posting here for Washington well we'll hand it's down to -- and so you can see it. I'm pretty ever shopped an area but this is for -- I've got to grocery store the coupon. Every used a coupon yes so -- coupon gives -- the terms and conditions of when you go to the check out to. Two get whatever is off the price of the goods. When you all added that C plans now option. You and essence. Gave this searcher in essence a coupon based upon what they're seen -- the desire was let people know what the crisis. However as. The the news reporter not follow up in last week's. Hearing. Was that if you are under fifty years old you get quoted the price of someone who's 27. If -- older than fifty older than fifty could be 64 you get quarter price of someone -- -- years years old. Isn't that misleading. Closer the -- side of the web site which has been out since actually. But that's truthful then if you quote a price it is clearly a hypothetical sits -- -- do you tell people that okay on the -- plans now option are you saying this of the hypothetical. That's now what it says on the site. It says this -- the price. When you put in your age and if your ages 49. A quote shoot as if you're 27. Sir the only way someone can get an accurate. Information about their price is to get there in let me ask another -- when did you decide to use -- Below fifty it when he salmon and above fifty at fifty years old when did you make that decision. That was decided by the team as I've moved up -- made -- -- problem with this whole debate if you all won't tell us. Who made the decision I can tell you I did not. -- -- bu site I will get well who made the decision on that 27 year old quote for someone who's fifty I just said I would get that information. Thank you let me go to. Because it's misleading. And on the White House insisted didn't mislead the public. And to find -- you did let me let me finish on this the based on their transparency issue. If someone a constituent of mind or someone in this country has strongly held pro life views. Can you commit to us to make sure that the federal exchanges that offer that is clearly identified. And so people can understand if they're gonna buy a policy that has abortion coverage or not. Because right now you cannot make that determination. -- -- I don't know I I know exactly the issue you're talking about Iowa check and make sure here's that is completely identify -- what -- Here's our requests can you provide. For the -- The list of insurers and a federal exchange. Who. Do not offer as part of their package abortion -- I think we can do that's you we should be -- -- it. I know I just. Nobody said if we can do it now I think we can do that is -- -- -- right know we can do it. I officer. I I can't tell you what I don't know firmly right now I know that is the plan I will get that information to cut. -- time inspired -- recognized mr. Rangel from New York. Well thank you mr. chairman madam secretary I appreciate your coming here today to answer questions about the affordable health care act. You know my Republican colleagues actions here remind me of a story -- -- when I was a little boy and that's the story of chicken little. Who run around yelling the sky is falling the sky is falling. But unlike chicken -- little my Republican colleagues are actually rooting for the sky to fall. Republicans are holding this hearing today under the auspices of an investigative hearing. As if they want to get to the bottom of what went wrong with the web site in order to help fix it. But I don't think madam secretary is one person -- room who is nice enough to actually think that the Republicans want to see -- -- work. They voted over forty times to repeal the law they shut down the government threatened to force -- default in order to stop it there rooting for failure. Madam secretary can you tell us what would be the impact. On America's health insurance. If Republicans had been successful in their efforts to defund -- repeal the Affordable Care Act. Well I think that the estimates of the Congressional Budget Office is that would it increase the deficit by about a 110 billion dollars in the first decade and close to a trillion dollars in the second decade. We know that we have 42 or 43 million Americans without health insurance at all some of the Medicaid eligible. And some in. Over the Medicaid eligibility thirty governors so far Republicans and Democrats have declared their support for moving ahead. With Medicaid expansion but absent that the Affordable Care Act those folks would be. Without any kind of health security and in the private market. What we know is it takes a real hole but I'd say the biggest issue is not just the financial -- not the community -- -- the country tell which is significant. -- a good friend two -- that cancer center at the University of Kansas. I was with him and cancer researchers recently and he said that if you get a cancer diagnosis. You are 60%. More likely to live five years and beyond if you have insurance than if you don't. I think that's a pretty powerful statement for why we need affordable health care for all of our citizens. Global thank you -- the Republicans have not been able to defund or repeal it. But they have denied requested funding they've raised specious arguments about death panels and socialized medicine. And they've worked in to intimidate groups that could help the implementation effort. Is it is spreading of misinformation about the cost of coverage we -- some of that today and to actively dissuade the uninsured from seeking coverage. Tamara secretary how -- these tactics impacted. Your ability to implement the Affordable Care -- I don't think there's any question that a lot of people need a lot of information I think it's one of the reasons we had millions. Visit the site try to visit the site. It's why I am so frustrated and disappointed that the site is not fully functional and why am so committed to getting -- functional because clearly there is a demand. We need to get information to people about the law this is the law this is not. Any longer a debate it was a law passed by both houses of congress signed by the -- United States upheld by the Supreme Court. The president was reelected it is the law. And people have benefits. And rights under that law and we've got to get that information so they can make good choices for themselves and FM. So thank you it is the law and frankly I find it disconcerting that my Republican colleagues if they're not done nothing but root for this -- fail. For the last three and a half years and now there's a big show here of being upset. Problems with the web site. You've been keeping people from signing up cup for coverage fast enough. So I would just -- to my colleagues on the other side of the aisle you really on the wrong side of history here. The web site will be fixed and millions of Americans will be able. To get quality affordable health insurance coverage through the Affordable Care Act and again I thank you for being here today man man. Mr. -- chairman of the health many thank you mr. chairman welcome that sector. Have you personally tried to register. Her role on media. Web site. Sir I created an early light -- -- so why would see the prompts that were coming to people who were interested. I did work my way to the application feature fairly early on but frankly I I have affordable health care so I. No I don't know if you've been through the process that millions of Americans haven't -- after. Madam secretary the -- the initial web site crashes appear to be largely a result of the decision to prevent browsing of the plants. CGI federal. Testified -- -- hearing last week that they had designed the web site to allow users to browse. And compare plans before having to create an account. Ms. Campbell told us that two weeks prior to the October 1 launch they were told to turn off the browsing feature. -- you where in September that this decision was made. Sir I wasn't aware of that particular decision that was made by the CMS team I was aware that we were paring back some features to not put additional risk. On the web site and who -- ironic additionally. Who made that decision. Administrator -- their made that decision. And and do you know why that was made yes -- because we were anxious to get the web site up and running and functional which we clearly have failed to do. To date although I would suggest the web -- has never crashed. It is functional but at a very slow speed and very low reliability and has continued to function. Having said that they pared down some of the features. Feeling that it would be better to -- the -- later one was the shop and browse feature. Another was the Spanish version of the web site and the Medicaid transfers all three of those issue. -- down in September -- load the system. Thank you last week CGI federal and -- SSI testified that she amassed. Was responsible for Indian testing and they believe that months of testing would have been preferable to two weeks. Do you believe that two weeks was enough time to complete testing of the entire system Welling up. And win where you made aware of the result of the test including the one where the system. Collapse with Somalia few hundred users. Leading up to the October 1 date we had regular meetings with not only. A team at CM -- but administrators involved I was made aware that we were testing and as we found problems we were fixing those problems and I think there is. CGI report -- mid August identifying some problems and between August and October that became the punch list -- CGI to fix those problems that's why you test. Now in. The Washington Post on October 21 there was an article. The set about a month before they exchanged opened a testing group of ten. Insurers urged agencies -- officials not to launch the site because it was riddled with problems. Were you where in September that insurers recommended to delay in the launch of the exchange. I was not aware that they recommended -- -- I know everyone was concerned that there were risks and that we're likely to be problems with the brand new integrated insurance system I don't think anyone. Ever estimated the degree to which we've had problems in the system and certainly that contract and partners. Did not. And -- HHS respond to the insurers recommendation to delay the -- I can. I wasn't in the meeting I don't know what it -- right now and I don't know that -- that question works. -- thank you thank you Mr. Mister green. Thank you -- -- sicker thank you for taking time to be here today. Rivers in parts of east and north. Houston Harris County in our district has one of the highest uninsured rates in the country. Even worse we have on the highest rates of people who have jobs. That don't receive their insurance through their employer. It's of these trees and that I believe Houston would be a good place for you to come it's been spread the word about the tremendous benefits of the Affordable Care Act however. We -- your office and you're unable to -- -- scheduling conflicts and -- hopefully. We have an agreement that sometime in the future you'll come to the fourth largest city -- probably yes. Highest number of uninsured and metropolitan area and of course -- in the state of Texas and as the number -- highest uninsured in the country. The it's important to me and our constituents. To get it right now that's rock I share year to presents his appointment to web sites are working as planned. November 30 is not soon enough. Me in my constituency and waiting for years -- purchase health insurance and we -- it to -- to get the marketplace is up and running. The contractors have not served our country. Well and should consider not be paid. Now we're hearing about the cancellation letters being sent by insurance companies -- and customers notifying him that their plans are no longer offered. Are these Americans losing their health care coverage. -- -- Affordable Care Act or is it because these plans were changed after the enactment the act. I would say it's the latter -- -- the plan was in place since the enactment of the act -- no one would have received to cancel or somebody in America had an insurance plan before the act. And not that the president was correct if you have what year -- -- which you have you can keep it -- -- plans were changed and so now they have to comply with the new law. They can either choose to be grandfathered and keep the same plan which meant the same benefits and -- actually them regulation allows insurance companies -- Charge medical inflation plus a trend line so they didn't have to charge the same price they could increase -- they can increase co pays that could increase. -- insurance what they couldn't do is. Canceled benefits that the policyholder relied on they couldn't disadvantage the policy nailed it but at that plans in effect absolutely it is still in thank -- But some of these millions -- letters -- hearing about her probably because their plans changed. Absolutely and again in the individual market plans change every year insurers and yet I even disrupt business market. That that happened so. These plans are not allowed now because they're completely inadequate they don't offer the minimum essential benefits. Is that correct. That is correct okay and having been a state legislator -- -- -- -- governor. In Kansas I assume every state has some type of minimum mandated benefits -- they have for their health and. They do but it applies again answer in the past usually to the group markets where 90% of Americans covered Americans get their policies this market has always been in the wild west -- -- The American -- read those letters are -- from their companies. About cancellations aerial -- purchase plans only curing. Or out of the exchange individuals who don't. Aren't interested in some kind of financial help can go outside the exchange inside the exchange -- engineered and offer them plans they have choices that never had. And because of the benefits of the Affordable Care Act 80% of their premium dollar will come back to them. That's correct -- that's right that's not true and I don't I know it's -- -- in Texas but I don't know what any states that have that 80% requirement. Well now a state had it I would suggest. In that. Kind of broad base prior to the Affordable Care Act at the beginning an example of -- of the plans I found out during caseworker few years ago. A large company provided 45000 dollar maximum benefit for their employees in the year most employees didn't know about it. In until this one constituent found out that she had cancer. And the bill ended up being 300000 dollars. In so that system of those plans that are not being allowed to be so now is that correct. Well not only would the plan have a limit on out of pocket costs for year it will have a limit on a lifetime out of pocket costs and it will have it will take away the notion that. You would run out of your coverage in the middle of the treatment which a lot of plans to. I know I'm out of time but it's like buying cars -- -- -- -- good bit of that have a motor it's no good to have that car. That's why image or repair act has a lot of gas -- -- then gets -- time has expired. Don't want target mr. -- they very much mr. chairman. Governor secretary were delighted to have you before the committee you and I both know how important this issue -- to all Americans that we get it right. So I hope you can appreciate we're trying to understand. What we missed along the way. And and one of the things that bothered me was the letter -- that was sent. From your agency. To the GAO. Back in June 6. In all read imparted said we're in the final stages of finalizing and testing the IT infrastructure will support the application enrollment process. HHS is extremely. Confident that in October 1 the marketplace will open on schedule. And millions of Americans -- -- affordable quality health insurance. I'm just. Average guy from a small town in -- when I read that. It tells me you believed everything was good to go the testing was in place and we should have full confidence everything would work correct. That's the Linares and yes -- actually signed by -- says yes but. -- the same -- so I went into this believing in your response your agency's response to GO things -- -- ago we should have full confidence. That is when somebody uses the word extremely confident tells me are extremely confident. Second piece then when we had the testimony from the witnesses last week I asked him about the Indian testing. And what the industry standard would be -- they said it really should have been months. Especially for a project of this magnitude in yet we heard it was only two weeks. Now in August. I'm GCI. Told CM -- in their report CG I'm sorry CGI think you. That -- on August 9 that there was not enough time in the scheduled conduct adequate performance testing. Did that make its way all the way to you. And in do you think there was adequate time. Circuit clearly as I've said before we did not adequately do end to end testing. The products were not. Locked and loaded into the system until. The third week in September. Ito the component parts right there was tested eight -- data independently -- So all of those and -- -- All those work -- right they told us last week that there individual modules were tested and met specifications do you concur with that analysis. I don't you know duking -- with the testing that was Tanya OK so really was the -- and which is why some of us thought we should delay until it could be done right to avoid this very. Collapse that now -- upon us. I realize matter of a agreed to that the second piece here gets back to the question posted to realize Jim Ned and I understand chance to read this morning. But the four Pinocchio is about the president repeatedly saying if you have a plan to keep a plan. We all heard that to mean I've got a plan with a company I'll continue to have an even if they make minor changes when in fact your own rules as written. Said no that really isn't what's going to happen -- minor changes are made that means the plan change that means you don't get it. -- say that isn't true they have rules did not say what -- just suggested and I think the estimate given that. There would be turnover in the market was really. An outside projection it wasn't our rules it's it was a snapshot of what happens in the market that plans change so sure and a -- -- time. That the testament when they wouldn't be not because of our rules but because of insurance company's business to. Well -- you set -- aren't those market rules look like they had to comply with. Correct only if they chose not to grandfather the policy that's this and that meant they could nanny grandmother policy stayed in place still would be in place right -- economy rules apply. But if they made any change now. They could make changes in pricing make -- make changes in benefits. They couldn't hermetically disadvantage the consumer. But they could have trend lines they they had at wide core adore. To make sure that that Sam a similar plan so -- -- consumer like the plan. The book and. If it's so here's what's the practical implication I've got letters from constituents all in my district who have gotten letters from their insurers who say because of Obama care. There are no longer going to be in the individual market or at least -- that plan in the individual market and the result is. This person from cove Oregon set I was paying 600 a month for 3000 dollar deductible now cost me 800 month for 5000 dollar deductible. Com I've got others here -- put in the record. A woman whose job she. Had forty hours now down to 29 neither -- health insurance nor enough income to live on her -- because of the way this laws -- implement and I realized my times. Can lady from Colorado ms. -- thank you very much mr. chairman and thank you secretary for being with us today. I want to follow up on a couple of those questions that mr. Walton was asking you. About CGI. As you know -- an ice that last night really since document. Monthly project's status report from CGI. Last night it looks to me as sort of a technical document that has a punch list of outstanding open issues. And some of them do highlight items set upon first street seemed to be alarming for example one of them. Entries said due to -- compressed schedule there's not enough time built -- to allow for adequate performance. Testing in this certainly in retrospect -- sounds -- But that day of the document that chairman ice -- released in September 6. And then on September 10 four days later -- TI came in to this committee. And testified under both quote CGI federal is confident it will develop that -- deliver the functionality. This EMS has directed. And and where we're trying to figure out at least I'm trying to figure out how CTI is now. Coming in and saying you know we warned everybody that this wasn't going to be ready. When they came in and directly told me that they would be ready -- -- on October 1. So kind of raises a question. How these statements can be reconciled. -- explanation is that CT I was lying to this committee. I think that's unlikely. Another is that CTI thought that items flag in their report -- like a punch list that could be addressed. So here's my question to you madam secretary. With CTI telling your department the same saying that they told the committee on September 10. That the company was confident that its programs would be ready. -- -- -- All of the contractors. Testified here in September and again I think last week before this committee. And the testimony was. Fairly similar that they were ready to go in September. They were asked in. Last week if they had suggested that we should delay. The launch date each of them said now I think the chairman so they never asked you to delay that launch day they did not and frankly I I think it is not. I am valuable at this point right to do a lot of pointing. Blame fixing the blame what I wanna do is fix the problem and -- what we need double team to move -- and we will report that act regularly. Right but we're relying on these contractors. To fix this and so the -- most of my last question which is. Mr. scientists now -- men. And he says the site is going to be functional for the vast majority of users by the end of November is that right that's correct and given and what CGI told us. And the other -- endorse. Do you believe that that is correct do you believe it will be pretty much ready to go by the end of November. I do and I think that we are making improvements each and every day it is easier to use now than it was two weeks ago it is -- From where we needed so it's not like it's all going to be fine by the end of November it's beginning to improve already adapter testimony is -- continuous process as web sites are patches are made fixes made an ongoing basis and as we find issues like. Congress -- as she talked about we are fixing them in real time. And you're gonna -- yes or -- that people will have privacy when they go on absolutely. Now I just want to say one last thing I was sign that Washington journal program bark -- college this morning. And I had a man Max Collins and he's sad. He got one of those letters from the insurance companies that his insurance was canceled. So what he did is he went on to -- the web site and he. Under the federal exchange and he found a better plan and now he's gonna sign up. So I would hope that that's what everybody would be able to do and I thank you mr. chairman. Mr. -- thank you mr. chairman and I'm pleased to hear that the web -- it will be. Fully operational. By the end of November and would you be able to. Who would you come back to our committees that we did see if that's actually accomplished and -- -- accomplished. I I will make every effort to do that. Okay. You were governor and state insurance commissioner in Kansas. And I reached out to -- our state insurance commissioner. And governor. And found out that they have absolutely no doubt about a brass guns to either tried to enroll -- -- role. As you know Nebraska is one of the states that opted not to do their own exchange in rely on the federal exchange. So it's interesting to me that neither our insurance commissioner. No war. The governor's office had any doubt that. About -- brass bands. And this this. And in enrolling in these plans. I also asked our insurance commissioner. The F any of the navigators. If they knew who the navigators were and whether they had to apply to be certified or licensed in. In essence like an insurance agent would be. And they told me they have no clue who's been authorized by -- just to be a navigator in and work with people in Nebraska. So this is concerning to me so I'm I'm -- askew it a few questions along this line first -- -- Do you have data on how many people in general and the United States have tried to one role in a planned through this web site. No -- we do not have any reliable data around enrollment which is why we haven't given it today. Or have -- -- data on how many people have tried to enroll but it. Because of the problems have not been able -- -- No sir I can tell you I met with insurers last week and one of the priority fixes is the so called 834 worse than document that. And that sends an individual's name to -- company and verifies it but that is one of the systems that is I have. Appreciate that in the contractors I asked specifically about the information of how many people tried to enroll in and roll and they say -- to have those numbers. But can't tell us that because of a contract with -- Jake -- saying that they. They're gagged on that information I would suggest though enough doctors are not reliable according to -- anyway but my question is going to be though will you on the record right now authorized. Them to give us those numbers and let us determine whether those who rely -- I want to give you reliable confirmed data from every state and from the federal marketplace we have said that we will do that. On a monthly basis by the middle of the month you will have that data but I don't want to turn over anything. That is not confirm them reliable and that's what -- well. But that data out there exists. In -- I would now I would -- tell you right now he is not reliable data according to the insurance companies who are easily. To have customers. They are not planning reliable -- all the way through the system the number of the real problems that we have that have. Clicked on and tried to get -- -- rules. I'm not asking about what they enrolled in or whether they but it came in and said they were 65 and more quoted something that they were 27 years old. That should be a pretty reliable number just -- just -- you know what. -- reliability. Of that data certainly flies in the face of the testimony from him. The contractors. -- -- -- This caps. Thank you mr. chairman thank you secretary civilians for your presence here today in your testimony. -- them frustrated with -- live grow at a health care dat -- I do appreciate your long standing commitment to improving the health care options for all Americans and fixing this website there the quickly. I think it's important to note. That in my home state of California and other states as well the new exchange market place we call it covered California. Is working. And rates consists -- are finding that rates are as much as -- 9% less. Then -- that they found on the market place last year I'm thankful my constituents now have this option. And as they look around to implementation nationwide. It seems clear to me that political decisions. In individual states. Have really made the difference for consumers. The governors and legislators state legislators that embrace this law are delivered for their community but those of elected -- -- trying to ignore the opportunities presented in continue to throw up road blocks. Both here in congress and in state legislators should not now seem surprised. That there are significant bumps along the way. This seems to need to be completely disingenuous. Having embraced the loss in Dublin -- enrollment began October. First Californians. Have started nearly 180000. Applications. With more beginning every day. I know my time is limited but I want to have a second. -- two mentioned a conversation I had just last night at with a telephone town hall to my district on the central coast of California. One of the first callers I heard from was a mother from Santa -- earnings -- in she once -- tell me the story percent. Her son is 28 years old and he had been paying 12425. Dollars a month for his insurance before the Affordable Care Act. She was happy to report that he is already applied to cover Californian has found a policy that works better for him. And has all the essential health benefits covered which -- former policy did not and now will only cost him a 109 dollars a month. This is significant savings for Merrill's. And this is a story that's being repeated at least in California. Office. So there are millions of residents in many states who have now set up their own website -- marketplaces in those states tens of thousands of people. Are now as we speak signing up for coverage. And this is demonstrating that the Affordable Care Act is working. New York and Washington over 30000 people have been rolled. In Oregon over 50000 people -- been enrolled. Kentucky 31000 people have been wrote we keep going and the success of this data exchanges which is where this is meant to be implemented. Shows how badly this law is wanted and needed. How much it will be of help to so many people who want quality affordable health care. So -- three quick questions to you. Our guests that. Speaker. What is your assessment of how this first month have been gone. Has done in the states that are running their own mark places which this congress intended that the board. Look at act work. Well everything we hear from the state based markets is that. They are doing well. That they. Have not submitted data yet we again are working with them around -- monthly schedule so that they will confirm Medicaid data and enrollment data and I will see -- real numbers at the and that the month and make sure that. There are available to the public but everything we hear is that they see the same demanded. They are eager to enroll folks and that that is going smoothly. And what do you think this -- shows about the demand in the interest. For affordable health insurance on the part of constituents while I don't think there's any question that in spite. Series of roadblocks and blockades. And a lot of misinformation driven by about a 400 million dollar marketing campaign last year. Americans are eager to see what their benefits may be under the law what their opportunities are how to get health security for themselves and their families. And we want to make sure that they. See those benefits the website is one of the ways to do that. That call center on the ground enrollment. Personal outreach our variety of ways and I I would tell your colleague. Mr. congressman I'd be happy to get -- the list of the Nebraska folks who work. On the ground. It's available easily it's public record so I'd be happy to send it. To you so you can share with your insurance commissioner and governor -- gentle lady's time is expired. Coming from the great state image in mister -- he can't thank you think -- -- -- being here a short time get through some some questions here I can. Does your testimony that that there every night to try to increase the functionality of the system here your hot swapping -- -- my understanding is that between two and four. Write new code. Put it into the system that yes or no. Clearly I am not hot swapping code. There is -- technical team you are in charge operation -- swaps code on functionalities that you're trying to improve the function out yes that's about happens every night yeah now I don't think it does happen every night it happens periodically during the hours of one in five but it is not -- nightly feature. And it has each piece of that code that's been introduced in the system and security tested. That's my understanding cancer and -- everything each piece of that code and test. Yes or -- did not I don't know that's about it and that tell you that security so much they -- -- trust is an ongoing. Operation that as code is loaded you need to retest. Over and over and over again so whether it's retested I -- test code have any science and security tests been conducted since health care bill of went live on October a October 1 yes or -- My understanding is there is continuous testing as the. -- -- temporary -- and operate -- and calls for yes or no has and I end to end security test on health care. Dot gov went live yes or no I will find out exactly what testing was doing -- know they're doing simultaneous testing as new code is loaded. -- -- -- Any end to end security tests run. After every new piece of code students I'm not -- -- testing the code -- implement and ends I -- access you have covers across town that I -- and note -- informant. I can tell you they're not and I'd be interested to hear -- an attempt if you go to tab too quickly in -- war. Welcome to read three things I'm Brian what books there give a tab there -- -- if you go to -- to. -- there well you -- -- look and I'll read stated September 27. And it is two Maryland. Kavanagh. Let me just a couple of pieces here. There are inherent security risks with not having all -- tested in a single environment finally the system requires rapid development. And release of hot fixes and patches so it is not always available or stable during the duration of the testing. Separately the security contractor has not been able to test all of security controls in one complete version of the system. And if you look in the first part which as most troubling at all. It says due to system readiness issues the security control assessment was only partly completed this constitutes. A risk that must be accepted. Before the marketplace day one operations. And so let me tell you what you did. You allow the system to go forward with no encryption on back -- systems they had no encryption on certain boundary crossings. You accepted -- risk on behalf of every user of this but computer that put their personal financial information at risk. Because you did not even have the most. Basic. End to end test -- security of the system. Amazon would never do this broken flowers would never do this kayak would never do this. This is completely an unacceptable level of security and here's the scary -- We found out after the contractors last week that an end to end test hadn't been conducted on security. Not functionality. Because if it's not functioning you know it's not secure -- Your ongoing hot patches without end and tests the private contractors told us it would take a very. -- two months just for an integrated. End to end security test that I'll tell you has not happened today why because your -- not constantly adding new code. Every night to protect the functionality. Of the system. You have exposed millions of Americans because you all. According to your memo believe that was an acceptable risk. Don't you think get the obligation to tell the American people that we're gonna put you in this system. But -- -- be where you -- information is likely to be vulnerable. Which commit today secretary to shut down the system and do an end to end security tests so that these Americans knows -- if you read the memo. -- all I have read it. This is a ten that's very -- -- -- Wait that's not -- memo says temporary number one and number two the contractors will tell you this it's not hamstring chairman pointer. Order in -- on the witness ought to be allowed to answer what was a speech by the colleague. Because -- to -- among other -- the generally will meanest and others images here that Lance. Disney. Secretary wish to respond briefly. Sir I would just say this document is. A document signed by administrator Abner. Which discusses mitigation strategies for -- security that are ongoing and upgraded and -- authorization. To operate on a permanent basis will not be signed until these mitigation strategies are. Satisfied it is underway right now but daily and weekly monitoring and testing. Is under way mister chairman of people using -- -- today and she should he admitted again the system isn't secure Amylin has opened again not -- as chair and she didn't that's -- into -- -- you said it but she didn't say how much time has expired mr. Doyle. -- thank you mr. chairman madam secretary welcome. Those of -- who fought for this law who voted for this law. Have a vested interest in its success and and the concerns. That you hear expressed on this side of the panel are real. Because we want to see Americans get health care. I think it's somewhat. Disingenuous for my colleagues on the other side of the year the the podium here too. Have this faux anger. In this -- concern over -- bill. That they absolutely want to fail and have rooted for its failure and -- voted over forty sometimes to repeal this bill. Never putting an alternative plan on the floor for the American people but just to simply say they want to make sure this plan doesn't succeed. And I think their rear rural areas is that the plan will succeed. And the American people will learn -- the real benefit to this plan. Not the propaganda campaign that's gone on by the Republicans. For the last three years. Madam secretary I think one of the keys to success of this plan is that we get young people to own role when this plan. And I have some questions about some enrollment concerns. That I have -- I understand that that you've said approximately 700000. People have applied for coverage. Via the health care -- up in the state exchanges is that is that they've completed an application right which is different from enrollment that's correct. So my question is are you expecting I know you don't have the exact numbers yet -- are you expecting a a large number or small -- number of enrollments during the first month with what would teacher thoughts on that. Well our projections prior to launch were always that there would be a very small number. At that beginning we watched the Massachusetts strand which started slowly and build. I think there's no question that given our flawed launch of health -- -- -- it will be a very small number. Yeah I mean in the Massachusetts plan I think the first month it was a 123 people signed up less than than 1% of body overall first your enrollment. In that first month than we saw the same kind of numbers in Medicare part. 2006. -- secretary young Americans -- the most likely age group to be uninsured. And a lot of us are concerned that because of of the problems that we've been having with the web site. That a lot of these young folks may not come back on you know they have very short attention spans I've got four kids. That all while at work on the Internet and if they can't get something in five minutes they're on -- something else. What do we do and and and what plans are in place by your department. To encourage young people to go back and revisit that site in the make sure that we're getting young people looking at that site now accessing it. A step -- number one is fix the site. Because we don't want people to be invited back and then have a bad experience a second time around. I think that's absolutely right the site is particularly important to tech savvy. Younger generation folks who we need to enroll I think that we have. So fixing the site is is step one and step number two is getting information folks says. The live in exists. A lot of young people haven't followed this dialogue for the last three and a half years ago. I think we need -- rule out a -- marketing campaign and we need to really reach out to young people. We especially the -- the November when you say this site is going to be working a lot better. To make sure they're checking that site got it that one of my four kids -- self employed east 33 years old he's paying about a 140 dollars a month right now for blue cross plan. He's eligible for a subsidy we brawls that site he's going to be able to get coverage for about half of what he's paying right now. And and that's good news for us but I think my wife is paying his premiums so I think we're gonna save the money. I what I think it's important. We had the prod him to go on that site. And -- and roll and I think for a lot of young people they're not gonna do it unless it's -- so it's important we get that fixed I mean. Doctor Murphy chairman of the oversight -- Thank you madam secretary welcome. -- mentioned debt the of people the boot to the technology the web site mid and upper mistakes -- and Verizon. When we had them before committee last week they said it wasn't their fault they were told but an HHS. There were some problems there. Semi Verizon wasn't involved in the website. -- -- equipment but the -- and I'm sorry the -- but but they they had a role. CGI federal is that companies senator. I'm just curious in this process what decisions did you make him. That affected this for better or worse in terms of the data that these are problems -- moment and being able to track how many people are -- general. My decisions. Specifically. To design the web site I was not involved. I am. Prohibited. To -- contractors we go but -- federal procurement and I got regular reports on exactly what was done the war. It about the part with regard to getting data in terms of how many people are even enrolled are trying to rolled to a -- to -- their constant process at this point does not work. And end -- and candidates and work that's not have reliable data about the end and I'm just trying to find out if if you had asked them to say look I'm. -- in -- this I'm gonna want a regular report how many people have tried general -- people haven't wrote if you did you ask that question we have -- They -- -- for our contractors. That specific fix and believe me the insurance companies are eager for us to get. Reliable data to -- under -- data matches ours and that is not there yet. I appreciate that I'm just trying to find out if you ask -- told them that was part of the plan what to -- -- -- -- quick. I'm here we're here from thousands of people -- their policies canceled. Back to her from one insurer in Pittsburgh. That just cancel 30000 individual policies. They said they expect 50030000. General exchange plans to see you know to date so far the number people who sign -- their plan is. -- -- Now I'm concerned a lot of these individuals families are Kabila to make by junior once so. A morning do you know how many -- -- -- -- not have been able to keep their insurance by January 1 do you have -- matrix can help you understand -- that number's going to be. Served by law that has been in place for a while at the state level. Insurance companies must give their customers and ninety day notice. About a policy right changer plan cancer this morning if you -- a mechanism whereby you will know. It's something built in the system -- -- appeal if your constituents signed up for an individual plan people across America. And we know how many policies will be canceled to ruby and -- -- -- -- a 10101001000005. Million. We -- know that in the individual market and number -- the plans being sold are not grandfathered and are not. Currently meeting the law. Those notices have gone -- we know that there are about twelve million people in the individual market. A number of them have grandfathered plans a number of them have plans which meet the essential health benefits so I can. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Person named Paul wrote to me and says I'm suppose that one of the families of the -- was supposed to help but is in fact hurting more. When make it harder from a family to live will have less money for food and other essential items have a wife and -- children to take care of another person wrote. I received all right 12013. Plan which if -- include premiums and out of pocket total liability was -- -- 300. 12014 the same program liabilities 9000. Single mom writes I want to convey -- one of the millions of people -- -- having their health insurance canceled because it does not meet. Standards of obamacare I'd liked my insurance I especially -- price and now I'm being forced to sign up. For something that it would be way more expensive as a single mom was self employed I'm worried about how I'm going to pay my bills I hope you have a mechanism to track who these people are. The she's not eligible for the subsidies. But the costs are really going to be driving down. -- again I would suggest that there is no requirement that any of those consumers sign up. For a planned suggested by the company at a higher price they have now options -- a planned thousand health underwriting without pre existing conditions. With some guarantees around she's searching around I can't I'm a man who can afford it never had before she can't find when she's -- -- time is expired and -- -- Rezko on mr. better through. Mr. chairman before my time begins that I have a parliamentary inquiry. Yes go ahead. I'm mr. chairman I'm always sensitive to committed decorum and before -- do it this morning I want to ask unanimous consent -- -- be allowed to display. The democratic -- Qwikster handle. Go right ahead -- no objection thank you. Secretary -- thank you so very much for coming today. Like to ask you about the document that my Republican colleagues have just released. This document is an authority to operate memorandum. To operate the federally facilitated marketplace for six months and implement a security mitigation plan. This document as I understand it describes security testing for health care Antarctica. It says that security testing of the marketplace with ongoing. Since its inception and end to September of this year. In fact it says that quote throughout the three rounds of security control assessment testing. All of the security controls have been tested on different versions of the system. That's good news. But the bad news is that it goes on to say that because of system -- and this. A complete security assessment of all the security controls in one complete version of the system were not tested. This document indicates that C -- postponed a final security assessment screening. But in its place CM as did put in place a number of mitigation measures and it concluded that these measures would mitigate any security risk. Question are you familiar with this document. -- -- Is it correct that this document recommends. Implementing -- dedicated security team. To monitor track and ensure the mitigation plan activities are completed. Yes it does. Now is that correct that -- this document recommends monitoring and performing weekly testing on all border devices including. Internet facing web servers. More than recommended -- under way is -- correct that this document recommends conducting daily and weekly scans. -- does this document -- conducting a full NCA tests on the marketplace and a stable environment. -- -- Is it correct that this document recommends migrating the marketplace to see it messes virtual -- senator environment in the first quarter of next year. Yes it does. My understanding is that an independent security expert the miter corporation. Is performing security testing on the code that powers the web site on an ongoing basis is that correct. That is correct in -- did an assessment of the system. Gave us a -- preliminary report they error in the process of posting their -- a report that did. Not raise. Flags about going ahead and the mitigation strategy. Was put in place to make sure that we at a temporary authority to operate. In place while the mitigation was going on and then a permanent authority to operate will be signed. Finally do you have confidence in these and other measures you are taking to protect the security of Americans personal information. I do share. Thank you this the third time is that it during the hearing and we believe you thank you what what you're telling us is that these remedial actions and ongoing security testing from -- -- are. Right that's a message that it's important for the public to hear. My Republican -- colleagues do not want this website to work I am convinced -- that they want to block the HCA at all cost in the which shut down the government. To stop the law. The the last four years they have taken every glitch every simple glitch and hiccup in the law. And tried to exaggerated. Significance and that's happening today and -- supporting thank you mr. chairman -- -- back. -- -- Mr. chairman I wonder -- making and the -- Americans and request also. Yes I would like to request unanimous consent that might opening statement which were not allowed to begin need to be given could be made part of the record for little or no without objection further I do have a number questions many come from constituents are also like to be able to -- -- those. -- questions for the record that objection asked the secretary for her attention to those so we -- and answers because. They after all are important questions. Okay thank mr. chairman just came to -- -- tensions that on CNN the CNN's web site. That the the site was -- just last week. And -- will be happy to make this available to you -- I don't think the CNN web site. See this see -- that CNN. Rent a -- that the health care dot gov web site was -- last week and again I will get this to you and would appreciate your response to that. Mr. Terry had asked a question about he wanted to get information -- number people who signed up he said he wouldn't provide that because it was an accurate. Would you provide us with a number of people who have been able to enroll on the telephone. The president gave an 800 number during his speech could we get a number of people who -- -- on the telephone. No answer we do not have reliable and -- data we will have that to you by the middle of November as we committed to. We are electing state data what we are collecting telephone data we are collecting paper -- that we are collecting website data we wanted to be -- -- accountable and that. Claiming my time -- a telephone data doesn't seem like to be that difficult compiled since the number it's. Likely quite -- Now telethon goes through the system you have for the president designated -- I've got Cohen a glitch Slorc as -- sites. And you're familiar with his appointment to the -- -- over I asked him to serve in this capacity yes -- many of us on the sub committee of oversight investigations in energy and commerce or not has comforted as you buy that selection. Because -- still recall mr. site's history with the subcommittee is not great. He was involved with Solyndra we asked him to come and talk to us about Solyndra in 2011 he refused requiring a subpoena to be issued by this. By the subcommittee will you commit to making mr. sites available to our subcommittee for our questions. Congressman you are welcome to ask mr. designs. To come before the committee. He is volunteering his services to us for a period of time he has been appointed by the president. Is starting in January is the head of the National Economic Council he was. Deputy director at -- for management and performance I am thrilled that he is willing to take on this assignment and help us strive -- management but. I began his. His appearance here will be important now lot of people are asking -- the president's words leading up to this -- just -- matter. And -- statement in the Washington Post -- -- Edited the president's statements they feel like your health care plan you'll be able to keep your health care plan if we deem an adequate that seems like -- more operational statement. And especially if you go back just a few years. Into the federal register and I'm quoting here from the federal register from July 23 of Tony -- Just a few months after the law was signed the the rule -- -- interim rule for the dealing with the grand fathering. Britain and the federal record because newly purchased individual policies are not grandfathered the department expects of a large population of individual policies will not be grandfathered. Covering up to and perhaps exceeding ten million people. I hope the president was apprised of that before he made these statements because clearly his statement was operation. Again that's an insurance company choice and that was a snapshot what the market looks -- war president. Made it clear and our policy was -- when a grandfather. Cause in both employer based coverage and in Great Britain in the federal register those -- the comments that were recorded now. I do have now this isn't a government takeover of anything these are private insurance plan I do have to ask you private decision. I do have to ask you this you serve at the pleasure of president we're all aware of that. But we have had many of your employees here in front of this committee. And you do have to ask yourself -- is being purposely misleading or are they really not that Smart. So I'm gonna ask you this morning. For the sake of the future of health care in this country will you please ask for the resignation of Gary Cohen because he's repeatedly come to this committee and misled us. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
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