Sebelius: HHS won't shut down exchange

Despite serious flaws in the federal health insurance exchange website, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius (pictured right) said she absolutely won't shut down the marketplace or delay parts of the healthcare reform law.

Sebelius testified Wednesday before the Senate Finance Committee, which included Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) grilling her about shutting down HealthCare.gov to fix all of the technical glitches offline, reported The Hill's Healthwatch. "Why not just get it done right," he asked. "Would it be helpful to take the whole system down?"

But Sebelius said HHS wouldn't be temporarily shuttering the exchange website or delaying the individual mandate. She said tech experts have assessed the problems and determined through a series of diagnostics that the system can be fixed.

Although HHS has found "a couple of hundred functional fixes" the agency must make to the website, Sebelius said a "delay is not an option," according to the New York Times.

"HealthCare.gov is fixable. It isn't fatally flawed," Sebelius said. "It's better to do routine upgrades."

What's more, Sebelius added there's still "plenty of time" for consumers to sign up for exchange plans with several months remaining during the open enrollment period, Reuters reported.

To learn more:
- read The Hill's Healthwatch article
- see the New York Times article
- check out the Reuters article

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