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Sebelius: Exchange Launch 'Rockier Than We Would Have Liked'
HHS secretary said improvements under way at HealthCare.gov website

THURSDAY, Oct. 17 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius admitted Wednesday that the troubled launch of the federal government's new health insurance exchange hasn't gone as planned. However, she said technicians were working to fix the glitches that have plagued the HealthCare.gov website, and improvements should be evident shortly to consumers, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported Wednesday.

Several Republican lawmakers have been critical of Sebelius' department's handling of the launch and have called for her to step down, The New York Times reported Wednesday. Unlike the highly publicized problems dogging the federal health exchange website, many state-run exchanges have been operating relatively well, according to published reports.

The reason for the disparity: the sprawling federal website has been overwhelmed by visitors and -- some experts contend -- hampered by faulty design and software. The state-run sites, by comparison, are much smaller and nimbler, and technicians can react quickly to fix problems that arise, the Times reported.

"Individual state operations are more adaptable," Alan Weil, executive director of the National Academy for State Health Policy, an independent nonpartisan group, told the Times. "That does not mean that states get everything right. But they can respond more quickly to solve problems as they arise."

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April 24, 2014

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