Sebelius in SA: Government health insurance site 'will be fixed'
San Antonio has more than 300,000 people without health insurance
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius promised the troubled health insurance website will be fixed and should be at "optimum" performance by the end of November.
"My job is to get this up and running the way it should have been running on Day 1," Sebelius said in answer to a reporter's question about critics calling for her resignation.
She indicated no plans to step down.
She has been on the hot seat over the slow-running Healthcare.gov website where people are to be able to shop for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act and enroll.
"We want to dispel the notion that somehow the website is fatally flawed," she said. "It is functional. It can be fixed. It will be fixed."
She said a new general contractor is now on board to oversee and prioritized the fixes to the website.
The end of November is the timetable she gave for when the site would be operating at optimum levels.
Sebelius came to CentroMed on San Antonio's south side to tout the benefits of the new health law.
San Antonio has more than 300,000 people without health insurance.
Community leaders have been working to get the word out so people who are eligible for subsidized insurance can apply and enroll. With nearly 25 percent of the population uninsured, it's a daunting task.
"Now that the website issues are getting fixed, I feel a lot better," said Mayor Julian Castro.
The federal government has not provided any numbers as to how many people have actually enrolled in the new health insurance marketplace. Sebelius said that's not out of a reluctance to do so.
"We will give monthly enrollment numbers, and frankly, we want them to be right," she said.
The deadline to sign up in order for coverage to begin Jan. 1 is Dec. 15.
The deadline for individuals to have health insurance or face a fine is March 31.
Sebelius said there is no discussion under way to extend that deadline.
She pointed out the website is not the only way to enroll. People can also sign up through the government's call center or by mail.
KSAT also has a page dedicated to helping understand the new Affordable Care Act. You can find it here.
KSAT reporter Marilyn Moritz contributed to this report.
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