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Sebelius: Couple of hundred website fixes required

Wednesday - 11/6/2013, 1:51pm  ET

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The head of the Department of Health and Human Services is telling Congress that the administration's health care website needed a couple of hundred fixes when it went online more than a month ago. And Kathleen Sebelius concedes, "we're not there yet" in making the needed repairs.

But she's rejecting any suggestion that the system be taken off line until it can be fully fixed. She told the Senate Finance Committee that taking down the website "wouldn't delay people's cancer or diabetes or Parkinson's."

The Democrat who chairs the finance panel, Max Baucus of Montana, said Sebelius needs to be "fully, totally" forthcoming with Congress about the repair effort -- so that lawmakers don't "wake up at the end of November and find out we're not there yet."

Republican Orrin Hatch told Sebelius that he's glad she's accepting responsibility for what he called "this disastrous rollout." But he says he would have preferred that the administration had been "honest with us to begin with."

Another Republican, Pat Roberts of Kansas, says if Sebelius is really the one who should be held accountable, then she should resign.

Despite the troubles with the website, Sebelius said it has improved dramatically since the administration launched a repair effort.

%@AP Links

165-a-08-(Senator Pat Roberts, R-Kan., during Senate Finance Committee hearing)-"you to resign"-Senator Pat Roberts says Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius should pay for all the problems -- pay with her job. ((Sebelius is pronounced seh-BEEL'-yuhs)) (6 Nov 2013)

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163-a-11-(Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius (seh-BEEL'-yuhs), testifying before Senate Finance Committee)-"in priority grouping"-Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says the necessary corrections are being made. (6 Nov 2013)

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162-a-06-(Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius (seh-BEEL'-yuhs), testifying before Senate Finance Committee)-"diabetes or Parkinsons"-Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says delaying everything until the website is fixed is not an option. (6 Nov 2013)

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164-a-08-(Senator Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, ranking Republican, Senate Finance Committee, during hearing)-"to begin with"-Senator Orrin Hatch says he wishes the administration had been more forthcoming about all the problems. (6 Nov 2013)

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APPHOTO DCSA105: Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013, before the Senate Finance Committee hearing on the difficulties plaguing the implementation of the Affordable Care Act,. The massive failure at healthcare.gov website is getting new criticism for lack of proper cybersecurity protections. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) (6 Nov 2013)

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