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Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in Detroit

Updated: Saturday, November 16, 2013 |
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in Detroit story image
DETROIT, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was in Detroit Friday, talking healthcare.

She's been under fire recently following major technical issues with the healthcare.gov website.

Its been a frustrating process for many Americans—trying to sign up for a health care plan and doing it on a website filled with technical issues.

Friday, Secretary Sebelius addressed some of those concerns.

For more than 5 years, Diane Kay has been very careful.

"I haven't been skiing in I don't know how long because if I break my wrist I'm in real trouble," Kay told Newschannel 3.

That's because she hasn't had health insurance since 2007, and a pre-existing condition had previously priced her out of the market.

"The health insurance would have been more than my mortgage each month," she said.

That's why she was excited to get onto healthcare.gov and finally get coverage she could afford—but it wasn't easy.

"The first time I tried in October, it didn't work."

And Kay's not alone—thousands have struggled with technical flaws in the website; something Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius aknowledges.

"I don't think anybody ever anticipated the level of problems that were particularly plaguing the site in early and mid-October," Sec. Sebelius said.

She she says more planning should have been done before they rolled out the site.

"If we had had more time for end-to-end testing, that clearly would have been a good idea," Sebelius said. "We have definitely lost some important time and some time where people have been told over and over again, this is a terrible experience and the site doesn't work."

But she says the site does work—and so far, in Michigan, she says about 1,300 people like Kay have successfully enrolled.

"It's a much different world than it was at the beginning of October when people got enormously frustrated but the system is working a lot more smoothly now," Sec. Sebelius said.

And she says if all goes as planned, the website will be in much better shape by the end of this month.

While Sebelius says the website should be running much better by the end of November, you can also sign up by phone or mail or in person with an application counselor.
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