#AskSebelius: IG Called, New Hill Tour

Photograph by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), during a Senate Finance Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 6, 2013.

First the fix, then fixing the blame.

Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of Health and Human Services, is ordering an agency inspector general’s report of what went wrong with www.healthcare.gov. Now that the revamped site is functioning for most of the people attempting to enroll in the new health-care exchanges under the Affordable Care Act, the secretary is asking for a probing review.

She also will make another appearance before a House committee today asking the same questions.

This will be Sebelius’ third tour of the Hill since the “fumbled” rollout of the website on Oct. 1 — a website declared healed on Dec. 1.

Advocates of the president’s health care law say the problem is passing — people are enrolling.

As Bloomberg’s Alex Wayne reports today, 364,682 people in two months have selected an insurer under the program.

“As more Americans give HealthCare.gov a second look, they are finding that the consumer experience is night and day compared to what it was back in October,” Sebelius says at her HHS blog today. “While more work remains, HealthCare.gov is working smoothly for the vast majority of users. As a result of hundreds of software fixes and hardware upgrades – along with countless hours of hard-work – the steps we’ve taken have put us on a path for millions of Americans to finally obtain affordable health coverage.

“Yet, the fact remains: The launch of HealthCare.gov was flawed and simply unacceptable.

“So today, I am announcing a series of initial steps in the process of better understanding the structural and managerial policies that led to the flawed launch of HealthCare.gov,” she writes. “First, I have asked our Inspector General, Dan Levinson, to review the development of HealthCare.gov. We need a thorough review of the contractor performance and program management structure that resulted in the flawed launch of the website.”

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