POLITICS

Healthcare.gov woes: Health officials to hold daily briefings on efforts to fix website

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WASHINGTON (WJLA) - A new problem has been discovered for those trying to buy health insurance through the Affordable Care Act website - It may be quoting wrong prices.

The ABC7 Watchdog team found monthly prices quoted as an estimate can be hundreds of dollars off depending on your age. Taxpayers may also be on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars to fix the bugs on Healthcare.gov. That’s on top of the unknown price tag for building the website. Some estimates put the cost at at least $600 million. All this has put the White House into damage control mode.

The CEOs of several health insurance companies were at the White House Wednesday to get updates on the rough roll out. Meanwhile, some White House staff headed to the Hill to brief lawmakers on the efforts to fix the mess.

During a closed-door conference on how to explain the problems and defend against the countless digs, Democrats emerged on point, but still frustrated.

“Unfortunate, disappointing. Get it right. Fix it,” said Rep. Nancy Pelosi, (D) Minority Leader. 

Republicans complained that they were not part of the briefing and insisted someone needs to be held responsible.

“It’s our job to hold them accountable when it comes to ObamaCare. Clearly there’s an awful lot that needs to be held accountable,” said Rep. John Boehner, (R) House Speaker.

Their target – Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebeluis, who was asked if her resignation has been discussed.

"What I talked about is doing the job that I came here to do," Sebelius said. "This is the most important work I’ve ever done in my life.”

In hopes of controlling the narrative, the White House says there will now be daily briefings just on the efforts to fix the site. Health officials, including Sebelius, are hitting 10 cities in the coming weeks with the highest rates of uninsured to encourage enrollment.

“We’re not making excuses for the serious problems that consumers have encountered on the website, but an element of this is the enormous demand that’s out there,” said Jay Carney, White House Press Secretary.

But also in demand - answers, and lawmakers hope to get plenty when they hold the first of many hearings on the Hill starting beginning Thursday.

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