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Rep. Upton taking center stage in Obamacare rollout hearings

Updated: Thursday, October 24, 2013 |
 Rep. Upton taking center stage in Obamacare rollout hearings story image
WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Michigan's own Fred Upton is taking center stage on Capitol Hill Thursday morning, leading congressional hearings in to the Obamacare computer glitches.

It's been almost four weeks now since the federal government rolled out the online marketplaces for the president's Affordable Care Act and many continue to voice their frustrations on the website's inaccessibility.

At the hearing Thursday, Upton and Energy and Commerce Committee members will hear from several of the health care law's top contractors regarding the law's rollout and the significant systems failures.

We will get to hear from the contractors responsible for making the health care sign up website. They are going to be fielding some tough questions about why there have been so many issues.

The title of Thursday's hearings is "Didn't Know or Didn't Disclose." The House Energy and Commerce Committee is trying to figure out if those who created the website knew there were going to be issues ahead of time.

19-million people have visited the healthcare overhaul site, but many have been plagued with problems.

Some can't even log on. Others haven't been able to create profiles and many are complaining about frozen screens, slow page loads and computer glitches.

Even those in favor of the healthcare overhaul are upset about the issues.

"I absolutely believe somebody should be held accountable," said Rep. Xavier Beccerra.

"The frustration that lawmakers who supported the Affordable Care Act feel over the fact that a portion of it is not functioning at the level we want it to function is frustration shared first and foremost by the president," said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney.

Representative Upton is the head of the committee. We got this statement from him Thursday morning. "We are now entering week four of the botched health care rollout, and with hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars spent for a system that still does not work, Congress and the American people deserve answers. It is not fair to force Americans to buy a product that is too expensive and not accessible. We were told repeatedly that implementation was 'on track,' and it is now time for all those responsible to explain what happened."

The hearings are expected to continue into next week.

Next Wednesday Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is expected to testify. Both she and President Obama have vowed to fix the site.

We will keep you updated on what the hearings discover.

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The Obama administration achieved a major victory in late June when the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 to uphold the nationwide subsidies for the Affordable Care Act. Open enrollment for 2015 is closed but people with special circumstances can still get covered on healthcare.gov.

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