PHOENIX (AP) — Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Thursday that officials are working “24-7″ to improve the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) exchange program website after its clunky rollout.
Sebelius, the Obama administration’s public point person on implementation of PPACA, was in Phoenix amid calls for her resignation over HealthCare.gov technical issues that have prevented people from signing up for coverage online.
“The majority of people calling for me to resign I would say are people who I don’t work for and do not want this program to work in the first place,” Sebelius said during a visit to the Wesley Health Center. “I have had frequent conversations with the president and I’ve admitted to him that my role is to get the program up and running and we will do just that.”
Sebelius toured a Health and Human Services call center and spoke with “navigators” who have been trained to educate people about enrolling for coverage. She said consumers can enroll in-person, by filing paperwork or contacting a call center. The nation’s 17 call centers are equipped to answer questions in 150 languages, she said.
While Sebelius was in Phoenix, contractors who helped build the HealthCare.gov website testified in Washington, D.C., in the first congressional hearing on the botched rollout. Representatives of CGI Federal and QSSI, which helped construct, told lawmakers insufficient testing was a factor.
Sebelius said nobody has been fired over the technical glitches and a lot of the problems were caused by a surge in demand.