WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama claimed “full responsibility” Wednesday for fixing his administration’s health insurance website as a new concern emerged: a government memo pointing to security worries, written shortly before the site’s Oct. 1 launch.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius apologized to people trying to sign up for health coverage, telling a congressional committee she is accountable for the failures. The website sign-up problems will be fixed by Nov. 30, she said.
The website HealthCare.gov was still experiencing outages as Sebelius faced questions from the House Energy and Commerce Committee about a security memo from her department.
The memo said incomplete testing created uncertainties that posed a potentially high security risk for the website. It called for a six-month “mitigation” program, including monitoring and testing. It revealed that the troubled website was granted a temporary security certificate on Sept. 27, just four days before it went live.
Notices were meanwhile going out to hundreds of thousands of Americans informing them that their health insurance policies are being canceled as of Dec. 31. The notices appear to contradict Obama’s promise that despite the changes resulting from the law, Americans can keep their health insurance if they like it. Administration officials say the canceled insurance will be replaced by better policies.