tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN November 6, 2013 12:00am-2:01am EST
figures but i'm so glad that tonight that the person introducing me is my best friend and my wife dorothy. cheers and applause] and i want to know just a few weeks ago, we celebrated our 25th wedding anniversaries. [cheers and applause] when we decided to do this campaign, we decideding to because we understood that it was a journey that we were all going to have to take together. nd dorothy, i could not be happier than stanning by my side tonight -- standing by my side tonight. thank you, doll. and to our five children who have been involved in this campaign from day one. i want to thank dori, jack, mary, salley and peter for all the work that they've done. cheers and applause]
all seven of us are so incredibly grateful to the most amazing volunteers and team leaders ever assembled in the history of a governor's campaign. [cheers and applause] just as i walked up here they gave me the final numbers. since january, you have knocked on 2.5 million doors in the common wealth of virginia. [cheers and applause] i mean, you have to pause far second to comprehend such a large number. the truth is that i've got a lot of my energy from seeing you all working so hard. when i came to a campus kick-off or to a phone bank.
i saw so many of you, i want to tell you it fired me up. 160%.t me going thank you. we love you. and you are spectacular. i know you gave up time from your family because you believed this election was so important. and thank you so much. and i want all of you here who worked so hard since this campaign began to give yourselves an enormous round of applause. [applause] and want to thank -- and i don't have words to really express but i want to thank my extraordinary team particularly the feel team to break records all over virginia. give yourselves a great round of applause.
[cheers and applause] let me say this, i also want to thank the absolutely historic number of republicans who crossed party lines to support me. you were powerful messengers for our mainstream campaign. thank you. cheers and applause] most importantly, i want to thank the voters of virginia who went out and voted for us today. [cheers and applause] from lee county to virginia beach to winchester, thank you for what you did to help us get elected as governor of the common wealth of virginia. [cheers and applause] look, i know this has been a hard-fought race. part of that as you know is the nature of politics. and part of it was that the attorney general and i had some very big differences and some
very important issues. and let me say this, i think every single person in virginia is glad that the tv ads are now over. cheers and applause] and i know that passions are high, but i think it's important to recognize that while the attorney general and i had a lot of differences, he is a principled man who has sacrificed an enormous amount of time away from his family. i thank ken cuccinelli for his service and dedication for the common wealth of virginia. [applause] virginia and america have seen contentious races before. and every time we end up coming together to pursue the common good. one particularly famous
virginian confronted a very bitterly divided electorate after the presidential election in 1800. but instead of relishing his victory or governing only for his supporters, thomas jefferson devoted much of his first inaugural address to bridging partisan divides. he said "but every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle. we have called by different names breathen of the same principle." 2013 years later is that our differences of opinion are still often not a difference of principle or goal. over the next four years most democrats and republicans in virginia want to make virginia a model for pragmatic leadership that is friendly to job creation.
cheers and applause] a model or strong schools that prepare our students for the job of tomorrow. a model for welcoming the best and brightest scientists an innovators no matter your race, gender, religion or whom you love. [cheers and applause] and a model for an efficient transportation system that reduces gridlock for our families and our business. but all this is only possible if virginia is also the model or bipartisan cooperation. and that's a view that i share ith the next will the governor
of virginia ralph norfolk. [cheers and applause] while, there are a lot of proud democrats here and and aren't we proud here tonight, folks? [cheers and applause] i'm also particularly proud to welcome all the republicans here tonight. give them a great round of applause. [cheers and applause] the truth is that this election was never a choice between democrats and republicans. it was a choice about whether virginia would continue the mainstream bipartisan tradition that has served us so well over the last decade, at time when washington was often broken, just think about what virginia has been able to accomplish when we work together. under governor mark warner, we preserved our triple-a bond rating and he made the single
largest investment in k-12 education in virginia history. under governor tim kaine we were honored as the best state to do business, the best man in state and he prudently guided us through the great recession. [cheers and applause] and let me say this, under governor bob mcdonald, our unemployment is one of the lowest on the east coast and we passed the first transportation funding in 27 years with bipartisan support. [cheers and applause] now, during the next four years it will be my obligation and honor to continue that tradition. and to get started, over the next three months, i'm going to work hard to reach out to every single republican in the general assembly. i want to listen to them.
and i want to work with them so we can advance our shared goals. cheers and applause] the economic challenges facing virginia are daunting. se quest tration for another year -- sequestration for another year and more federal cuts on the horizon. but for those who know me well, i believe that a daunting challenge is always a great opportunity. [cheers and applause] working together we will protect the jobs that we have, but we will work to diversify our economy. first, is workforce training. for me the best part of this campaign, i was able to visit every single, all 23 community colleges in the common wealth of virginia. [cheers and applause] you meet people of all ages who are gaining new skills for a new economy and finding opportunity to simplify and do what we need to do to make sure
that we have those jobs in the 21st century. they are our true agents of workforce development and we have reduced funding in the last couple of years by 40%. we need to make sure we are investing in our education ystem. when you take average virginia pay, we went 50 out of 50 states. we need to work together to pay our teachers what they deserve in the common wealth of virginia. [cheers and applause] when 80% of the brain is developed between birth and 3 years old, we need to make sure that we're investing in early childhood development. [cheers and applause] but also, the passage of a funding bill is only the first step at addressing the critical transportation problem that we face in virginia. over the next four year, we
have to prove to the taxpayers that we can spend their money efficientively and efficiently to reduce congestion and create economic activity. [applause] and in the common months, we face a critical moment on the medicaid expansion. cheers and applause] it was perhaps the clearest issue that voters had during this election. but again, this wasn't really partisan choice, instead a bipartisan coalition of democrats and democrats, democrats. and businesses have said that we need to brick virginia's taxpayers' money back to virginia. [applause] throughout the campaign i've listened to the concerns of republican friends. that's why i'm committed to finding consensus on how to
reform and expand medicaid. and whether it's education, transportation or health care, it is absolutely critical that we move forward in a way that is fiscally responsible. virginia has a national reputation for strong fiscal management and that is something that i am deeply committed to sustaining. finally, i wanted to say something specifically to the hundreds of thousands of supports of ken cuccinelli and mr. sarvis. and i know to the hundreds of thousands of you that work sod hard. and i know tonight has not been easy. i've been involved in a race that's not successful including my own race for governor in 2009. i understand that emotions are raw. i have been there.
i get it. so while i promise you tonight that i will be a governor for all virginians, the real test is my acts when i take office. i expect you to hold me to my pledge to work with both sides. and i hope that once -- [applause] and i hope that once we started to make bipartisan progress on critical issues like jobs, education that i can earn your trust. virginia, thank you for the honor of electing me to serve as the 72nd governor of the common wealth of virginia. thank you! god bless you! god bless the common wealth of virginia and the united states of america! thank you! cheers and applause]
cuccinelli's concession speech. cheers and applause] >> thank y'all very much. though, i'm obviously disappointed by tonight's outcome and i know you are too, i am immensely proud of the campaign we ran. we were -- [cheers and applause] -- we were very heavily outspent but i'm proud that we ran on first principles and serious ideas based on those principles. [applause] we fought for the principles that were first articulated for the whole world by virginians.
and this is no ordinary governorship. this is a seat first occupied by patrick henry and thomas jefferson, o thought that every time i considered it, i found very humbling. serving as governor of virginia is a special honor and i hope terry mcauliffe is successful in the role. virginia needs that to happen. i'm honored by the support we had from many people across the common wealth. and though we didn't come out on top, you have made a difference. and tonight you have sent a message. you have sent a message tonight. [applause] 've spent my life fighting for virginians. and i'm grateful to all of you who fought for me. [applause]
and there are literally thousands of those all over virginia. we said this race was a referendum on obamacare and although i lost, tonight, you sent a message to the president of the united states that you believe that virginia understands that obamacare is a failure and that you want to be in charge of your health care and not the government. [applause] at last count i was aware of despite being unspent by an unprecedented $15 million, this race came down to the wire because of obamacare. let me say that again. despite being outspent by an unprecedented $15 million, this race came down to the wire because of obamacare.
that message will go out across america tonight. this administration told us that virginians could keep their health insurance and heir doctors and their costs wouldn't rise under obamacare. but that was not true. and they knew it wasn't true. we were lied to by our own government in its effort to restrict our liberty. >> that's right! -- i am ateful grateful to god for getting me through this race. cheers and applause]
you can tell by my voice that not all of me got all the way through the race. but i'd like to recognize also the members of my family and many dear friends here tonight. this has been a long journey for my family. and i don't mean this race. mean, the whole battle. the battle goes on. [applause] and i'm -- i'm grateful to our family and our friends, many new friends that you make and find in some of the most unlikely of places all across virginia. that support has gotten us through.
that support has gotten us through. i hope you all know how much i appreciate each and every one of you. i see a lot of people from the attorney general's office and of course, i have a special place in my heart for those folks that i have worked with on behalf of virginia for four years. they have sacrificed much to work on your behalf and on behalf of all virginians. ut i want to thank terow for haring this journey with me. [applause] one more example that all men marry up. but without her love and support, i couldn't have made it through this campaign or any of the four previous ones. as i've told you many times she harder. ot
we home school. i'm the dean of students. [laughter] but she carries her load and half of mine and has for a dozen years so that we could fight for the first principles that we share on behalf of all of you. [applause] now, i've always said that the worst thing that happens to me in any election is that i lose and get to spend more time at home. i like going home. and i'm looking forward to spending more time with terow and these wonderful children here. my parents are here as well. they deployed to virginia about a month ago and my father has blazed a single-handed campaign trail across the common wealth. many of you have met him. [applause]
and my mother has helped us when we thought the peddle was already to the metal do a little bit more. and we appreciate it very much. that's been absolutely critical. and you've -- i'll spare you the stories and all the jokes. we'll share them 500 times in our own family. being half irish, it will be funny every time. both my brothers are here. my doctor brother came to this campaign late. he was an interesting edition. got to bracket the president upon his rival which was very appropriate when the focus of this race was obamacare toward the end. and he was a great help in that respect and has been a great support. and the one family member who could vote for me, chris was here and working for so long and through many races. and i remember the first one where he slept in our living room where we carried that race
on. uncles ve aunts and here. we have so much family that did more than they've ever done before and some of them -- so many of them have all been engaged in helping us one way or another. it has ban great testament just the family itself. -- it has been a great testament, just the family itself. [applause] i also want to thank my great campaign team who worked hard and sacrificed an awful lot to get our message throughout virginia as best we possibly could in the face of some rather serious obstacle. and from victory offices to headquarters to out in every community in virginia, i want to thank all of you for burning the candle at both ends as you all did and to our thousands of
volunteers who even made this race possible. you all were the backbone of this race. and i will take you back five years to a conversation terow and i had before we finally decided to get in the attorney general's race in march of 2008 . we took the view and remember what march of 2008 looked like for republicans. oh, it was a grand time to get in a race. [laughter] but we decided that first of all, we knew what kind of race we would run. the same first principles i'm talking to you tonight have animated every campaign we've ever run. the foundation starts as it always should with proper campaigns in america with first principles. and we -- we understood and we said it out loud, if there are
enough people in virginia who share our commitment to our first principles, we can't lose. and if there aren't especially in that kind of an environment, we can't win. and we got more votes for attorney general than ever before. virginians still cherish the first principles that virginians brought forward to the whole world. they do. [applause] constitutional conservativism is alive in virginia. and the more they saw that it eroded and an out of control hale care law which is the leading example right now, the more brightly not the less
brightly, the more brightly that flame of liberty is going to burn in virginia. and that's why this battle is not over with this race. it goes on and it will continue to go on. our company is focused on the guiding principle that our guiding wealth and our country are at their best when we remove government barriers to innovation, ingenuity and individual freedom. [applause] those are the principles that i've worked for every day of my life in public office and for which i will continue to work whether or not i'm in public office. it all starts with remembering our founding ideals, the same ideals that patrick henry and james madison and thomas jefferson stood for and that george washington fought for. these principles are wy i entered public office, public
service. they're why i entered this race for governor to fight and preserve our freedoms for all virginians now and into the future. they were delivered to us as a blessing and they are a burden to us to deliver to the next generation and the one after that. [applause] and i want to thank you all for your loving support. i am grateful to go to represent all of you, all 8.2 attorney rginians, as general and in the senate. i still believe that the greatest resource we have in virginia is virginians. and no election can change that. thank you all very much.
god bless you. god bless virginia and america. good night. [cheers and applause] >> while she got a b in english , she actually got a c minus in european history. who knew that in later years as a military wife and future first lady that she would be so well traveled and so much to do with european history. she loved charms and early on
ike bought her this west point football charm showing the army and navy game scores in 1913 and 1914 when ike was coach for the army football team. as a military wife, she took great pride for creating a home for ike in each of the 36 places they lived throughout the marriage. continues live monday as we look at first lady jacqueline kennedy. washington xt journal, we discuss the oil industry with the population of less than 8,000, cushing is considered to be the capital of the oil kingdom. the proposed keystone oil pipeline will run into cushing.
it contains the biggest vault with the capacity of more than 80 million barrels. tank farm and cushing will include mark mueller, director for enbridge. that's 7:30 eastern. at 8:50 a.m. we'll be joined by daniel juergen, author of "the quest" and why wall street cares about cushing. and we'll talk about the keystone pipeline. washington journal is live on c-span any day at 7:00 a.m. eastern. >> our live hearing coverage tomorrow includes health and human services secretary kathleen sebelius. she'll be talking about the health care website.
problems with the health care website will be fixed by the end of this month. that hearing is at 10:00 a.m. eastern. a senate homeland security subcommittee looks at hurricane sandy relief efforts a year after the storm. witnesses include the fema director and the housing secretary shaun donovan. the head of the centers for medicare and medicaid services says the agency will release health care enrollment for healthcare.gov next week. his is two and a half hours.
>> the senate committee on health el cation, labor and pensions will please come to order. about five years ago richard streeter, a 47-year-old truck driver from eugene, oregon was frustrated and worried. as "new york times" columnist nicholas chris-off described in his column this weekend, mr. streeter couldn't find affordable insurance in the market. back in the battle days no insurance would cover him. so he just went without care. after months of ignoring pain, he finally went in for a colonoscopy. but he couldn't afford one. the only way he could get it is from a doctor who agreed to take a half payment now and a half payment later whenever he could afford it. after driving 100 miles he
ound out he had advanced colon cancer. his doctor said this, it was heartbreaking to see the pain on his face. he got me very angry with people who insisted obamacare is a train wreck when the real train wreck is what people are experiencing every day because they can't afford care. mr. streeter is the second patient the doctor had seen this year who put-off getting a test because of a lack of health insurance and now has advanced colon cancer. he has a long, tough road ahead of him but at least now he won't have to worry about how he will get treatment. he signed up for health insurance which can't turn him down because of his preexisting condition. we passed the affordable care act so that this would never happen to another family. right now millions of americans are shopping on new health marketplaces for coverage that starts next year.
700,000 people have filed applications. and why is this surge in this interest? because for the first time in history their health whether or not they have a chronic illness or an allergy or had a back operation 10 years ago will not prevent them from getting insurance. these reforms will finally deliver on a long overdue promise to americans. if you work hard and play by the rumes and pay your fair share, you'll never have to stay awake at night worried that you can't afford to see a doctor or pay your medical bills. it's a promise i wish we could have kept sooner for mr. streeter. so today we'll have a status report on the implementation of these reforms. as everyone knows the role out of the federal -- of the federal health insurance marketplace has been bumpy to put it mildly. consumers have run into road blocks. the sight has been functional one day, unresponsive the next. american who is have been waiting for years for this
moment deserve better. the president, the secretary and our witness today have taken full responsibility for the technical flaws on the website and have said that no resource will be spared to fix the problem and quickly. and i look forward to hearing an update today on those efforts. i share with my republican colleagues concerned about the technical flaws and bumpy roll out. an i look forward with discusses on how we can move -- discussions on how we can move forward. for a we're here discussion not a game of gotcha. i'm as upset as everybody. i want to learn today how those problems will be fixed. but herein may be a difference. i want it fixed so the affordable care act will succeed, will succeed, not be
torn down. there are many who have done nothing but try to tear this law down. quite frankly, i feel they've surrounded their right to express indignation. we've voted 32 times to repeal or defund the law. as appropriator that funds the implementation of this law, my republican colleagues year after year denied implementation funds at every turn. tried to stop navigators from spreading the word. they even sent letters from the national football league warning them about reaching time-out fans. republicans governors and legislatures who in most cases in a platform of strong states rights handed over the responsible of running the marketplace to the federal government.
before we get into the details, i think everyone should take a deep breath. this is afterall a website. this is a machine that will be fixed. americans have until the end of march next year to sign up. the president said it is far more than just a website. the promise the affordable care ct is a benefit to 105 million american who is have unprotected against lifetime limits. it's the benefit to more than hree million who can stay on their parent's benefits until the age 26. it's a benefit to the 71 billion people on private insurance sha have used at no cost and no co-pay preventive services which mr. streeter could have used had this law
been in effect. it's a benefit to the 129 billion not elderly americans with preexisting conditions who beginning january 1st, can no longer be denied or discriminated against from companies. that's the big picture. and we shouldn't forget it. it's the national security that insurance coverage brings. i can tell you in iowa marketplace premiums are among the 10 lowest nationwide. a family of four making $50,000 will be able to get bronze level coverage for $103 a month. a 27-year-old making $25,000 will be able to get a plan for less than 100 a month. that's real choice. real affordability. so let's get the website fixed as fast as possible so that every american can shop easily and enroll smoothly. let's not forget the big picture that because of
obamacare -- if you want to call it that or the affordable care act millions of americans will not be in the situation that mr. streeter found himself. that's what it's about. slowly but surely americans who have waited years to get covered are enrolling in health coverage for the first time. we owe them our very best efforts to move the ball forward. and so i will be listening closely when questions are asked today of our witness. is this in order to help and fix this system so we can move forward to make this affordable care act work or is it another means to try to tear it down and discourage participation? , ant to thank our witness ms. tavaner for her leadership and for her long dedication to making sure our health care
system in america works for all. i know we'll have some tough questions. that's fine. because i do want to know why this problem came up. but i want to keep the big picture in mind as to what we're really doing here and that is to make the system work. finally, i have one administrative manner, i request that the record to be open for 10 zas for statements to be submitted to the record. and now we'll turn to mr. alexander. >> thanks, plch. and welcome to ms. tavener. i used to testify before this committee from that seat and i used to think the senators put the chair down low so they could be up high. so we welcome you. my late friend alex haley used to say, instead of making a speech you just tell a story. so here's a story. 16,000 tennesseans have insurance through cover 10, a low cost, narrow coverage state
program. obamacare is canceling their policies. cover 10 is an example of what president obama calls bad apples. an insurance plan that washington decides isn't good enough for you. i recently heard from one of those tennesseians whose policy will be canceled on january 1st. her name is emily. she's 39. she has lu pus. she told me, i cannot keep my current plan because it doesn't meet the standards of coverage. this alone is a travesty, she said. cover 10 has been a lifeline. with the discontinuation of cover 10, i'm being forced to purchase a plan through the exchange. my insurance premiums alone will increase a staggering 410%. my out of pocket expense will increase by more than $6,000 a year, that includes subsidies. please help me understand how this is affordable says emily. our hale care system makes up 20% of our economy touching the
lives of every american. and today obamacare is pushing that 20% of our economy in the wrong direction. the president has said repeatedly and i looked up the white house website this morning if you like your plan, you can keep it. and you don't have to change a thing due to the health care law. let me repeat -- you don't have to change a thing due to the health care law. that's the white house website today. but as the president said, it's a law transforming our health care delivery system in the wrong direction by -- it's more than a website as a president said. it's a law transforming our health care delivery system in the wrong direction we believe by increasing premiums, canceling insurance plan, destroying relationships with doctors, raising taxes, foring people into medicaid, spending a trillion dollars on new program instead of making
medicare solvent and encouraging employees to reduce employees to a 30-hour workweek and then have the i.r.s. threaten americans for not signing up on a website if you like your health care plan, you can keep it but in fact the plan cancels millions of individual policies. and more millions of others hey are dropping the policy. if you want health care, go that the a website government says it won't be working until november. only two weeks to shop for and buy new insurance policy by december 15 so that you're covered next year when obamacare outlaws your policy. the president put the secretary in charge of implementing this law. i've called on her to resign because it's hurt so many
americans. before the internet, r.c.a. could tell you how many records elvis was selling. how many cars ford was selling, and how many hamburgers mcdonald's were sole. and they posted meetings where you're apparently telling each other how many people are enrolling in obamacare but why won't you tell congress and the american people? one senator has described this law as an approaching train wreck. well, my grandfather was a railroad engineer in kansas. his job was to drive the locomotive into a round table they called it, turn it around and head in a different direction that's what our country needs to do, turn the train around in the right direction. obamacare expands the health care delivery stham we already knew cost too much. the right direction is more choices, more competition that lower costs so americans can
afford to buy insurance. now, don't expect republicans to snow up on the senate floor with our vergs of a 3,000 page bill to try to move the health care delivery system in the direction we want it to go. we don't believe in that approach. we believe instead in moving step by step in the right direction. make medicare solvent, reform medicare advantage to compete with medicare. make medicaid flexible. encourage small business plans. expand health savings accounts. buy insurance across state line. change 30-hour workweek to 40 hours. that tennessee woman i told you about emily who is losing her insurance because obamacare has decide it isn't good enough for her, this is one of the biggest betrayals our government has ever committed on our citizens. i beg of you to continue to fight for those like me, she says who would only ask to be
allowed to continue to have what we already enjoy, a fair health insurance plan at a fair price. please find a way to return to affordable hale care writes emily. my message to emily is that we will do our best to turn this train around and head our health care system in the right direction so that you can buy and keem health care that you an afford. on behalf of the committee, i would like to welcome marilyn taveener. she was confirmed by the senate on may 15th of this year. prior to her confirmation she was deputy administrator for c.m.s. of tim d as secretary kaine. she spent 25 years working for the hospital corporation of america. and she began her career as a nurse as the johnson willis hospital in richmond.
she hold as bachelor's in nursing and health administration both from the virginia common wealth university. i know you're very, very busy these days but i thank you to share your experience and answer questions here today. and now what i'd like to do because this is such an intricate subject we usually give the witness five minutes. i would like to give you up to but no more than 10 minutes to make your opening statement and then we'll have our questions. so welcome. and your statement will be made a part hoff this record in its entirety. please proceed. >> thank you, chairman harkin, ranking member alexander and members of the committee. on october 1st, we watched one of the key provisions of the affordable care act, the new marketplace where people without health insurance including those who cannot afford health insurance and those who were not part of a group plan could actually go
get affordable health care coverage. we know that some consumers are still having difficult in rolling by the marketplace website and we are focused on identifying and solving those problems quickly. but it is important to remember that the affordable care act is more than just a website. it has created a new market which allows people access to quality, affordable hale insurance options. it does this by pulling consumers into statewide group plans between sick people and healthy people, between young and old and bargains on their behalf for the best deal in health insurance. by creating competition where there wasn't competition before, insurances are eeg for business, have created new ealth care plans for new choices. the premiums are lower than expected. and millions will qualify to make this more affordable.
people will have comprehensive health cover that cannot be taken away even if they get six. i want to show you that healthcare.gov can and will be fixed quickly. and we are working literally around the clock to make that happen. we have made significant progress in improving the functionality of the website and we expect the user experience to continue to improve with each passing week. under the past month, millions of americans have visited health care.gov to look at the options under the affordable care act in that time nearly 700,000 applications for coverage have been submitted from across the nation more than half in the federal marketplace alone. this tremendous interest confirms that the american people are looking for quality affordable health care coverage. we know that the initial consumer sheerns on health
care.gov has been frustrating for many americans. vom had trouble logging into the sight and creating accounts while others have received confusing error messages or have had to wait in the first few days that we went live, few consumers could reat an account. we have now resolved that issues. users can successfully create an account and continue through the application and enrollment process. we are now able to process nearly 17,000 registrants per hour with almost no errors. we've up dated the sights everal times for improving the healthcare.gov experience. we reconfigured components to improve. the viewing and choosing of
hale plans, this now responds in just seconds where it was taking minutes before. we've resolved issues and display properly to consumers at the completion of the application process. consumers have now view and compare plans without registering for an account. the functionality was not working well in the days leading up to october 1. one of our highest priorities was insuring that consumer information was submitted. our team has worked with insurers to resolve out standing issues. and they will be enrolled in the plan of their choice. we will continue to work closely with issuers to solve problems quickly. we've also seen success and improving response time across
the website. for the first few weeks we have to make the users were waiting on average eight second across the sight to load. we loaded this time to less one second and we will continue to make ggressive steps to it even further. we are pleased with the parts of the system that are working well. for example the data hub, the routing tool that pro sides a sufficient and secure way is sending determination to the marketplace in less than 1.2 second. the social security administration has reported 4.2 million transactions with the up and they have responded to more than 1.3 million requests. they can thraust the information they're provided is protected by strin general security standards and that the technology under plying the application process has been tested and is secure.
t.m.s. has decades of experience at protecting personal information and medicare. and we are extending that system. any system this large is inherently risk. we have to continue to monitor and have a come men sating control plan. -- compensating control plan. security testing will never end for this system and for any other large system. while we continue to improve the website, it's important to remember that the website is, in fact, working and more people are applying each week. in addition to the website there are other ways for onsumers to approach healthcare.gov. they can choose by phone in a toll free number asm representative will work with each consumer to make sure that they can complete the application and enrollment
process. second, people can find inperson help in their communities and work with people trained or certified to help them understand their halte care option. third k consumers can complete a paperwork application. they'll find out whether they're eligible for private insurance, medicare or chip and then they can enroll in a plan or do it by phone if they prefer. today more than three out of every four americans get insurance from an employer, from medicare or from the v.a. system. americans who purchase insurance on their own, however, generally buy insurance on the mark. coverage in the individual market often was unaffordable, had high co-pays or deductible or lack basic services like mental health services, maternity care.
these plans also had high turnover rates and often were at enewed at the owned -- the end of a planned year. they're strengthing employer based coverage in the marketplace, consumers will no longer be charged more because of their gender or preexisting conditions. recommended services will be covered at no preventative services will be covered at no additional out-of- pocket costs, there will be caps on out-of-pocket cost, plans will have to offer 10 essential benefits. plans in place before the affordable care act past and have not been changed are grandfathered in and exempt from consumer protections. they must notify their role enrollees that they are grandfathered. for these enrollees, nothing has to change. individuals have received
indications from companies that their plans will no longer exist. they can choose a different plan being offered by their insurer or they can shop for coverage in the market is or outside the marketplace. insurance companies are not shopping consumers, they are improving options, often offering better value plants with additional benefits. the majority of people and the individual market today will qualify for discounted or free health care coverage and signing up for coverage to the marketplace. one study found that not counting the one million who
qualify for medicaid, 48% of people who buy insurance through the individual market will have a tax credit that averages over $5,500. the aca is over four years old, we have seen improvements. the opening of the marketplace on october one is the latest step in the implementation of the law, we acknowledge that we have a lot more to do and are ready to do it. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, commissioner tavenner. we will start a series of five- minute questions. i will hold myself and everyone else to five minutes. you might only get one question, that way we can go around once, twice, three times, as long as it takes so people can get questions asked. i hope we will keep within five minutes so everyone gets to ask questions. we'll start now. ms. tavenner, as we evaluate the problems with the website, it is important to get the facts straight. some have said that fixing the website could take six months to one year, others state that there are 5 million lines of code to rewrite, others urge you to start from scratch. bring some facts to this
overheated debate. i understand this can get technical, i want to give you an opportunity to explain in plain english. what is the plan for fixing the website, who is leading, and what is your role? what is the expected timetable for the process? >> let me start with the plan, we engaged qssi as the general contractor. they were engaged last week. they will be leading the effort, working with me directly. they will be responsible for coordinating contracts. the problems are into categories, the first problem had to do with performance and speed. we have added capacity and made system performance improvements,
that has to do with the hardware side of the equation. that work was done immediately. we have projected demand for the website, we obviously underestimated that demand. we had to go back and catch up and at capacity and improve performance. that is some of what i was referring to in my comment about the slowness of the system. the second issue has to do with software improvements. the first big one was the ability to establish an e-mail account. that was a problem that was solved in the first week. we have had success there, there is not a problem with establishing an e-mail account or going on to identity proof. now we are into the internal piece of the architecture. i will remind you that this
website is covering 34 states and 50 medicaid programs, also services the state raised exchanges. it is pretty complicated. we knew we would have bugs in the system. we obviously have more bugs, particularly around the application. we are doing series of software upgrades seven times a week, we will continue that. you will see improvement week by week. this is weeks, not months, we are not rewriting the architecture. >> could you address security? there are reports that you had concerns about the site's security protections. what efforts are we making to ensure that consumers' information is secure? protections. what efforts are we making to ensure that consumers' information is secure? >> that may put it in a couple of different all caps, because
there has been a lot of confusion about security. summer,earings over the and lot of the questions i answered and others answered had to do with the security of the hub. the contract you're there is qss i, that serves the federal marketplace and the state as well and has been a smooth operating system. completed by was september, and there was signed off on the hub. the it comes to the ffm, actual exchange, there was testing a component, and then we get a short term operated should to operate. we had announced proper to october 1 that we would not bring the spanish website up right away. we did a temporary or short-term
authorization to operate because we knew we would have to do continuous security testing while those programs were being installed and while software was being updated. there is confusion but what was tested and what was not tested. we need to separate this. >> 527 seconds only. will theyne comes on, be assured their social security number will be kept secure, that no one can hack in and take their number? hubes, and remember the does not secure any information. it is a router. if you fill an application, it irs, butial security, that is not stored. what is stored is in your individual application, which is secure, and that was part of the front end, which is complicated
as we had taken additional steps to make sure that individual applications are secure. we have continuing monitoring of all systems, which we do for medicare as well. >> thank you. >> thanks, mr. chairman. let me go back to the president's words. i am sure you will be able to fix the website, and i am not as concerned about the irs fix that will come next year. what i'm concerned about are the canceled policies and the inability of people to have time after you presumably six the website by the end of november to replace their policies by january 1 so they will have health insurance. i'm concerned about the kind of health insurance they get because of the large number of cancellation letters that are coming into our office from tennessee. so let me suggest that a way to
fix this problem of canceled policies in the individual market is to go to a website that does work pretty well, but still says if you like your plan, you can keep it and you do not have to change a thing to to the health care law. that is the white house website. those are the president's words in 2009. why don't we put those words into law? why don't we solve the problem of emily from tennessee who is losing her coverage in tennessee am a, and finding to replace it more.l cost 410% senator ron johnson has introduced a bill that he calls, if you like your health care plan, you can keep it. it would put the president's words into law and i sure those millions of americans like emily that they will be able to keep a , andlike covered tennessee she will not be out of insurance on april 1.
where talking about millions of americans, so my question is would the administration support senator johnson's bill, which would foot the president's words into law by saying to americans that if you had a plan before the law was passed on march 20 3, 2010, or a plan all the way up to the end of this year that you could keep it? wouldn't that solve a lot of problems and reassure americans that they could have affordable health care? alexander, when we wrote the regulation back in 2010, that is exactly what he did. we grandfathered in existing plans, both in the employer market and in the individual market. there was a lot of back-and- forth about that regulation, what was the phase-in time, and that is why we delayed it until plans could be
grandfathered over this time and we allowed the grandfathering to continue as long as it did not reduce benefits significantly. there were some things put in place. i do think we have put in steps, the ability to keep plans. in these cancellation letters, these cancellation letters are also followed by statement, that says-- >> i want to give a chance to answer, but will you support senator johnson's bill? >> i have not even look at his bill. i would be happy to look at -- >> i will get a copy to you. we know about the relations written in 2010. -- the regulations written in 2010. they made it impossible to grandfather a lot of the plans that people had. according to your regulations, 40%as estimated that up to of plans would not be able to the grandfather, so didn't you know that there would be a big of these policies and
it was wrong to say that if you like your plan you can keep it without having to change a thing? >> i do not think the regulation assumed that it was because of the grandfathering that these plans would change. these plans routinely change. over than 50% a year. this is part of what the affordable care act was designed to do, to try to stabilize the market and get individual some protection. >> but your regulations said if you increased cost sharing, co- pays, change the extent outcome and change the elephants, all those would mean those plans did not continue, and basically washington saying to people like the 16,000 whose their coverage in tennessee, we know better than you do what is a good plan for you. we want you to buy a better plan even though you like a plan you keep. words put the president's into law and simply say if you like the plan you have -- we
will not decipher you, you can decide it -- if you like the plan you have, you can keep it without having to change a thing. that is what was on the white house website today. individuals 16,000 that you listed, they were also given the option of renewing with the new plan. yes, maybe some of those plans were more expensive, but i would encourage those individuals to go on the website, take a look at what is available in the individual market in tennessee. you will see the pricing in the individual market came in about 18% lower. some of these individuals may qualify for a subsidy. i would encourage them to look at their current issue work, but also go on the website, look at plans available in tennessee, and also check to see if they qualify for subsidies. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator alexander. senator mikulski? >> good morning, administrator
tavener. i'm glad to see you. we are very proud of the fact that cms is headquartered in maryland, and there are thousands of people who work there every day in every way try to make sure that nettie care, -- medicare, medicaid, and obamacare is administered efficiently. you have been battered around in the failure to confirm permanent ministry just. we will put that aside for this conversation. the launching of the affordable been more than bumpy. i believe there has been a crisis of confidence created in the dysfunctional nature of the website, the canceling of policies, and sticker shock from some people. in my state of maryland, it was also happy. sun"ad in "the baltimore that 73,000 marylanders'
policies will be canceled. let me get to where i am. it is not to finger point. it is to pinpoint. what i worry about is there is such a crisis of confidence people will not enroll, and the people we need to and role, particularly young people, to make this whole system work will not happen, that people who are most desperate. -- senatorwan xander' letters. alexander's me what you are doing in terms of the crisis of confidence, but also how are we going to get young people back to looking at how they are going to apply to make it attractive, to give them confidence, and
also to make the whole system more affordable? >> let me start with the affordability, and i will talk about those from the state-based exchanges -- 46i have two minutes and seconds. do you have a plan to get young people back? >> yes, we do. we have a plan to stabilize the website this month, and we have a targeted plan that includes not only young people, but the large populations of the uninsured in markets, so yes, there is a plan. >> what kind of plan? of media, bothn television, radio, and some print. it is identified by top markets, and i will be happy to share that plan with you. >> do you think you will restore the confidence in this plan? >> yes. >> how? >> by the improvements in the website, which we are already seeing, and i would encourage
folks who have not been on the website to go on the website. it has improved. we are seeing more folks being able to complete applications. we are getting more positive feedback. there is a tremendous amount of interest in this plan. there's over 700,000 completed applications. we have seen over 13 million visitors to the website. the information is out there, which is needed to ensure that this site is working. >> i would like to go to going to the website, which goes to many of my laurel constituents. we talk a lot about the robust baltimore-washington car door, but not everybody has access to a computer and that everybody knows how to use a computer. is includes young people. we worry in maryland about the digital divide. o'malley, ben cardin. my question is you say you can go to the phone, are you publicizing this number?
if you want to pay for applications or you want to be able to talk to someone in person, as you said, where do you go and where do you get this? are there designated sites? offices,o this in post libraries? where will we do this where people can be able to do this if they are not going to go to a computer or a computer is not available or their friend? >> is a great question. we do advertise the one 800 advertise you can call their if you do not want to use a computer. we advertise who in the community we have currently over 70,000 broker agents who have been trained to assist people. we have navigators in every state, and they are covering the entire state. he advertise that. he also have many hospitals,
including libraries, who are offering to help. >> i'm going to be blunt, because i really want this to be a success, and my job is to pinpoint solutions, not finger way., looking at a retro i think it is very confusing. i know my time is up, but i think it is very confusing about where you go. you hear about the navigators and this and that, but i can tell you people really do not know. they really, really do not know. >> senator, i'm sorry, senator isaacson? mr. chairman. thanks very much for coming today. qssiaid that 10 days ago was put in charge of coordinating the website, is that right? were you aware in june of this year the inspector general thatd a report on qssi
said quality software services do not successfully implement risking exposure to personal information for over 6 million medicare beneficiaries? were you aware of that? >> yes, sir. >> i would like to put into the fromd that the i.g. report june, because of their lack of discipline, they exposed over 6 million medicare beneficiaries their information. the reason i bring that up, and i do not believe everything i see on television. i tried to check everything out. this morning, what seemed to be a pretty credible claim that a lawyer in south carolina who have gone on the website and gotten access to set up an account was called by a man from north carolina, telling him, and he got that man's information. this information security is extremely important. made the-- mike rogers
point that it is extremely part -- import. i would ask that you make sure that qssi is in compliance. >> i will follow up on a report. securityactor who does in the marketplace, and we are working with them in this incident in south carolina. we were made aware of that yesterday, and we implemented a software fixed yesterday to fix that. as awill be treated personal identification issue, and we will do a complete follow-up on that. >> you said this was going to be ongoing, because we know cybersecurity is an ongoing challenge. it is critically important to tell whoever you said the person in charge of security was to deal with qssi and make sure they met compliance. >> i will do so. aboutone who has had
about a thousand independent contractors working for me, most of the people who are uninsured or had lack of access were independent contractors because their employer cannot provide it to them. what the unintended consequence i was begin to them, but i had three come up to me, one, and mrs. russell who had the insurance shift she had bought as a contractor who had just received a cancellation notice, had tried to go to the website, could not, had called the toll-free number and gotten help from a human being who said they would send them the information, but they cannot not guarantee them when it would come. i point in this is when we passed the affordable care act, it precluded insurance agents for being navigators and put in a ratio so high that you could not pay a commission to a salesperson. the only access to the human beings that could be incentivized to tell somebody what is in the plan is either to call the website am ago on the
website, or find a navigator. considerms should rethinking appropriations for the medical loss ratio and the unintended consequences of not allowing health insurance agents to be navigators, because that limits access to the information that you want them to have. that is just an janitorial comment. my last segment, if you would put up the chart on the iceberg -- georgia, ihinks of think of ollanta, but there's a lot more of georgia than atlanta . in southwest georgia, remains are doubling. more than doubling in many cases. health insurance costs are going to the roof. when you said the website was only the tip of the iceberg, you were right, because you have tremendous problems and tremendous challenges, but the biggest one of all are the premium increases to the people who can least afford them. in rural southwest georgia, that is by far the case. on behalf of those georgians, we
are seeing a doubling of the premiums, and we need to address that and we need to make sure the unintended consequences of requiring so much coverage is not running people out of coverage rather than providing what the coverage they need. >do you know what is contributed to the cost of role herald -- rural health care going up so much? >> we are not the experts, but the more competition, the better the prices. there was not enough competition to raise -- to lower the rates. -- rates were higher for before the implementation of the aca. andve seen new entrants, we hope that it will continue to press the pricing downward. >> thank you for your testimony. my time is up. >> senator murray?
>> thank you, and thank you for being here and all the work you're putting into this. when we passed the affordable care act we designed it to have states lead the way and drive market reforms by building their own marketplaces. states like kentucky and washington planned and designed and created their own marketplaces, and many states declined the opportunity to build their own marketplace and rely on the federal government to do the work for them. washington state's health plan finder has been a leader on the launch of their new marketplaces, and in its first month enrolled nearly 55,000 people from my state for new health insurance coverage, including 10,000 kids. i'm very proud of the work that has been done in my state to provide access to quality, affordable coverage, and i wanted to ask you to tell us about what you are seeing in the states, like mine, that develop
their own workplaces. i elicit some of the top -- will list a few. all the states are working hard. we have 17 partners at the state level, including d.c., and i would say that what we're seeing in washington and kentucky is probably some of the strongest performance, which is great. have had lots of application interest. the other areas that i would say we are pleased with because of the size of the states is new york and california, where we are seeing good progress. each of the states are moving along, and part of what we will be submitting in mid november, as i have talked about in previous hearings, is information about applications and enrollments that will look at the state and what is inside the state as well as the federal marketplace. we will have more data for you. >> we want some of those states use best practices? >> we are indeed.
we meet with them regularly. >> ok, and i wanted to ask you about the next round of outreach to americans and what it will look like. everybody has focused on the website and we know it is improving, and those will be solved. obviously, a lot of americans are frustrated by their initial applications, and we have got to get them to return to the site. the crisis of confidence that senator mikulski talked about. in addition to those people, i want to know about the administration's plan to reach out to those americans who individually purchased lands are being canceled by the companies. there is a story in our people a 56-year-tle about old woman who received one of those cancellation notices and like a lot of other people who was told to blame the affordable care act in that letter. of course, she was not told that if she accessed the aca marketplace it could save her
and her family thousands of dollars and provide her with upgraded, more comprehensive health-care coverage. a similar story, and that is an important reminder that it will be an uphill battle against some political and industry interests to get those individuals good information, that have received those letters, and i wanted to know what you are doing to get information out of those people whose policies have been canceled. >> this is actually a conversation we are having today we have ato we -- consumer assistance program within cms, and is there a way we can actively engage to reach out to people who have been canceled? although they are canceled, they are offered another policy, but what is important for them to understand it is not just that policy. it is also the ability to go on exchange. in washington they do not even have to apply. they can look at what the rates are. they can do that on the federal
exchange as well. they're working on a plan and i will be happy to get back with you, but give back to the street. >> that is important because a lot of them are seeing their policies have been canceled by about care and not being told there is what your options are. we have to work on that. thank you, mr. chairman. enzie?tor >> thank you. i am from a low population states, and we do recognize that the problems of the website are just the tip of the iceberg him much as this chart demonstrates back here. saturday, 2600 people in wyoming had their policies canceled. fortunately, three years ago i noticed that the roles were changing -- rules were changing and people were not be able to keep what they were promised.
we have a method of petitioning that, called the congressional review act to my we had a debate about repealing the rule that would've kept them from keeping the policy that they like. own onas voted d straight party lines and people will be paying for that in the next election. on the accountants, i will go to the more technical questions with this website. it is my understanding thatt cgi's contract is a cost plus contract where the company will be paid for their work while they straighten out problems that they maybe even cause. how much moral the cost to fix -- how much more will it cost to fix the website, and if it is their fault for delivering a product that did not meet specifications, do you intend to recover payments and what recourse is available? >> you're correct. contract is a cost plus
contract. there is not additional funding being c provided togi. they will make these repairs within the contract. i meet regularly with not only global, including one at a: 30 this morning. they expect work to be completed. there is a recovery process in a cost plus contract, but i will have to get you that information. i would not want to rely on my brain for that one, but i will work with the contracting people. >> i would like to get a copy of the contract as well, and there must be a contract with qssi as well. is that cost plus as well? >> i will have to get you the details on the qssi, but i thought we had -- and we can certainly get you the
information you requested. >> where is cgi headquartered? >> in virginia. >> jok. and qssi? >> a good question -- minnesota? i'm guessing on that one. also offices in virginia. we are working with both the national and local there in virginia, and they are also in maryland. >> i also served on the finance committee, and in the finance committee, cms testified on doing the testing on this website. we were assured that it had all been done. it is my understanding there was testing still going on the day before the website opened and that there had not been the either wassting that called for or was not called for.
how much security testing was done as part of the data testing? >> this is what i was trying to explain earlier. there are two components to the federal exchange. one is the hub, and that was completely tested, security testing, signed off, and in the ffm, or the actual exchange itself, each component was tested by us independently come a verified, security tested, and it was night -- not signed off in a so we signed ae, short-term authorization to operate, which would be customary if you were continuing to do work on the project. also mention this information that goes in there there and not in
stored. how do you identify the person later if there is not any of that information kept. >> the social security number is not stored in the data hub. completed an application, it has this information in an an individual can store that online. that is part of the proofing that an individual can do to store their application. we also have some storage in what i will call the enrollment eligibility russes in case there is an appeal. what i was trying to say there's no data stored in the hub. we have information on record. are do not think people cared where it is stored. they are cared about -- they care about their privacy. my time is almost up. thank you. i. thank you, senator enz senator bennett? >> thank you, mr. chairman.
take you for being here today. approach tohis local and state and government here, i hope as we go forward we do not lose sight of the fact that government does not do a great job with procurement, with .t., or with customer service, and we're seeing that in spades. as ane is we use it occasion not just to point fingers but to improve -- things for the american people. in the short term, i think that customer service element is an enormously important so we do not face the crisis of confidence senator mikulski talked about. that should be job number one, to figure out that people -- but the politics aside. whether people sitting at their kitchen table can decide and evaluate for themselves whether this is a better deal or not for them. in colorado, as you know, we set
up our own exchange. one of the things i have been told is that people have to go through 20 pages to have a determination made about the medicaid eligibility before they can actually get access to the private marketplace. and there has been some suggestion that that has been required by the federal government. i don't know whether that is true or not, but i wonder whether you can enlighten me on that or shed some light on it and whether we can figure out how to work together to make that less of a burden to people. he cause it seems to me that customer service friendly website would say -- if you think you might be eligible for medicaid, click here. take me through that. but for somebody he knows they are not eligible, to skip the 20 pages, means they get to the private exchange. think -- >> i am sorry, as you talk about that, can you broadly address the question of customer service part of this? the changes that you have made to try to give people the
opportunity on the federal exchange to make their own decision. it is me start by saying, a common application, whether you are going on to shop without a subsidy or to see if you qualify for a subsidy or for medicaid. and i think that is what you are referring to, the common application. but whether you are medicaid areible or whether you applying for subsidies, it is a single application. so, medicaid doesn't add any additional steps to that process. my understanding -- and again, this is the colorado exchange and not the federal. my understanding is a you need to be denied by medicaid before to shop ine access the private marketplace. >> so, i would need to check with colorado. >> let's do that. can we do that today? >> yes.
the customer service issue is very important to us. as we stabilize the site, we will go back and deal with those individuals that we think may have had a bad experience am a such as a establishment of an e- mail account. --have individuals' in the information so we will reach out and invite them to come back. some may have gone ahead and created a separate account or maybe they were just on their out of curiosity. but at least we will make an effort to go back and get in touch with individuals and say if you had trouble in the first week am a leave, come back and try to establish your account again, because we solved the problem. that is the first step. the second step is how we handle it in the media and the market. -- what i was talking about before -- a campaign to reach out to consumers, but we will not start us -- campaign until we stabilize the site the next few weeks. december, january, february, march, reaching out to
individuals. if you are on a state-based exchange, they are responsible. if you are on a federal exchange, we have that opportunity. so, we identified key markets based on the number of young uninsured, the number of uninsured in general and the population. so, we do have a targeted campaign for the next four months. >> what are the implications for your timelines with respect to eligibility, sign up, and all the rest? if you don't get the website fully functional by the end of the month -- or by the end -- >> november. based on our analysis we will have it fully functioning by the end of november. there will always be people who don't want to use the website, who want to do paper, who want to call in. that is fine. we will support that. but i think we always assumed that, based on massachusetts' experience, the initial sign up will be very slow.
and in fact, no payments have to be made until december 15 for coverage on january 1. so, while we don't like the problems we had in october and fixing it in november, we do not think it will impact the timeline because we have a six- month enrollment, so we still have four months left and individuals can apply up until march. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> now to senator robert. -- senator roberts. senator robert? >> thank you, mr. chairman. 'm going to focus, if i can, on the concerns raised by senator isakson, alexander, and the chairman, on security and privacy. we have a law, the federal information security management .ct, his mother --fisma everything has to have an acronym. it requires each agency to a
point a chief security officer to ensure americans private financial and identifying information is protected. and that is a big issue. secretary civilians revealed last week exchanges operating on temporary authority to operate. there is a 2012 12 memo from zyonts, the man appointed to fix the affordable care act. as head of omb he stated clearly omb does not recognize interim authority to operate for security authorizations. i first question is, why was the exchange allowed to go operational without the apparent parents required by the office of management and budget? on -- justto go think about any minute. i don't like to do this, but time is limited. again, as part of the fisma assessment, an independent testing organization must
perform a risk analysis of the security of the system. my second question -- did an independent testing organization ever test the whole integrated system end to end? ask you to bank questions. >> that's all right. the first question -- omb does approve of short-term authorization. we are following rules outlined by omb, and i double checked that. the second one is -- yes, we are nist compliant and we did use an independent security firm that did the work in testing. the only piece that was not -- what i talked about before, we could not test and a live environment until october 1. because the testing will continue this month and next the softwareo
upgrades, and it will be tested in a live environment. >> without revealing publicly -- which obviously you cannot do -- will use them in confidentially the results of the independent testing? >> i will submit everything i can within the security guidelines. yes, sir. >> all right. a september 27 memo addressed to you state that due to system readiness issues, the required security assessment was only partly completed. notes that untested parts of the system pose a high security risk and the contractor was not able to test all parts of the system in one complete version of the system. cbs news analysis that i would like to include in the record. that found that the deadline for final security land slipped three times from may 6 until july 16, security assessment to be completed in june was lit to august. the required top to bottom security test never got done.
agency head marylin tavenner, according to this analysis, accepted the risk and mitigation measures like frequent testing and dedicated security team -- but three other officials signed a statement saying that it does not reduce the risk of launching as of october 1. that september 27 memo recommends a mitigation plan to address these risks and recommends a six-month authority to operate. that recommendation was signed by you. are you the official as cms responsible for making the security authorization decisions? the case, because of the visibility of the exchange, the chief information officer wanted to make me aware of it, and i agreed to sign it with their recommendation to proceed. >> does anybody else approve that decision before it is final? >> no, sir. >> like secretary civilians?
>> and no, sir, it is my decision. >> i appreciate that. thank you very much. >> i will take the remaining 30 seconds of the senators time and just say, again, i think -- as i talked to my fellow senators on both sides of the aisle, this is a paramount concern. consumers have to be absolutely certain that when they go on and fill out the application and give all of that information, that at a secure, that no one can hack into that and steal social security numbers or identity and other things. i just think this is an issue that really has to be focused on thoroughly so that there is absolute assurance that that is secured. thank you. mr. chairman, can i get my 30 seconds back? >> you give it up already. >> you took it. i sort of given up. i just want to reflect on what you said, sir. there is a lady named margaret from kansas who i promised i
would bring this issue up. exchange to get on the and then she tried to call the times.about 3, 6, 7, 8 finally got somebody and she said if i selected that plan, would it be secure? the answer was -- well, you know, pretty sure. that is a direct quote. she said, if you are pretty sure, i want to be sure. she hung up and call the office. that is an example a concern. >> appreciate that. i do share the concern. baldwin? >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank you and the ranking member for convening us , and administrator tavenner, thank you for being here. esther chairman, i appreciated your opening remarks and setting are with for where we
real and significant challenges. of the earliery implementation of the affordable helpact that has proven to very many. ofhink about the parents children with pre-existing health conditions who can now secure insurance for their children, and the peace of mind that for wide. i think about the 6.6 million young adults covered on their parents' health insurance and i take personal pride on that because i worked on that amendment as a house member as we were marking the bill up in energy and commerce. i think about the $6 billion in prescription drug savings that seniors have the advantage of since the passage of this bill. and then i think about the rough implementation of this next phase of the affordable care act. and even with the significant technical issues around the
, i have healthcare.gov heard from families in wisconsin that are already recognizing some of the new insurance options that are available. as you said in context of your opening remarks, that is what this is about. and new marketplace especially for those who are shut out. karl and bonnie who own a farm in hayward, wisconsin, in the north woods of our state. struggleed about their to find health insurance prior to the passage of the affordable care act. they were both dropped from their plan after health tests risk ofarl was at prostate cancer. they had to buy a new plan. they were lucky they could find one. $10,000 deductible and $800 premium, but it had a said it would not
cover prostate cancer if karl ever got sick. due to the affordable care act, they are not comparing and shopping for new coverage in the marketplace. he contacted me to share that they are thankful and very findted to be able to health care plans that are not only affordable but actually cover cancer. quality health insurance options available in the marketplace, we need all of the doors to that marketplace to be wide open. and the ongoing technical andlems are unacceptable they must be fixed as soon as possible. and i am glad to hear your update on the progress. they should have been fixed yesterday. but the need for a well functioning healthcare.gov is particularly acute in a state like the one i represent. because our governor chose not a wisconsin-made state-
based arco place for individuals and small businesses. failed to seize the opportunity that the affordable care act presented to strengthen what we call badger care in wisconsin. to expandcided not medicaid under the affordable care act. walker decidedor to kick off as many as what we think would be around 90 -- 90,000-92,000 off their current medicaid coverage. i think of our discussion about, if you like your health care plan, you can keep it. well, there's tens of thousands like theirnites who badger care and the reason why they can't keep it is because of our governor's decision. to ask you, administrator tavenner, to start off, can you confirm that
wisconsin is one of the only states in the nation poised to a large number of individuals from the current medicaid coverage in 2014? -- right now,dwin and we are in discussion with the wisconsin. the two maine are states of looking at this idea. other states have talked about it, but these are the two who put the proposals forward. you are right, 92,000 people. and we are working with --consin, are medicaid and to make sure those individuals are aware of the marketplace. >> i want to ask you a little bit more about that. a significant number of people in my state. and in order to avoid a lapse in coverage, individuals losing badger care must enroll by december 15 -- >> i am sorry, the senators time
-- i am trying to hold to five minutes. everybody has been very good about this. senator scott? >> i want her to continue to talk so i would have more time. are tied to keep it at five that you will get a second round. are notlican jokes funny. i apologize. thank you, mr. chairman. [laughter] >> southern drawl. let's get back to the topic. ms. tavenner, thank you very much for being here. frome more than 30 days -- one of the greatest website disasters in history. after nearly 400 million dollars healthcare.gov is synonymous with failure. the public's trust has been broken in the report i am hearing reinforces why. one in particular we have already heard discussion on -- the south carolina man, it is so painful, that i want to dedicate my time in question to try to resolve his issues.
fromase starts with justin north carolina attempting on october 1 to get obamacare through the health care.gov. by halloween, just four or five days ago, he was still unable to sign up for obamacare. however, mr. hadley from north twolina immediately saw download links. an eligibility notice from mr. dougal from south carolina, including his name, address, and eligibility for subsidies. dougal ise -- mr. requesting the personal information from all of his family be removed from healthcare.gov because he cannot remove it himself because there is no delte option for consumers. of course now mr. dougal nor mr. hatley will use the website to purchase insurance. making matters worse, when my office was contacted with assistance we called the help healthcare.gov one 800 number and asked a specific question -- can you remove mr.
dougal's personal information? the response was silence. not a yes, not a no, not a maybe, not let me check with my supervisor. they just simply refused to have an audible word in response to our question. it is hard to believe that your account managers really do not know if they can delete accounts internally, especially after such an egregious breach of trust. by the way, mr. dougal has called on several occasions but no one will call him back. not a single person has taken the time, after having his information exposed, to even call mr. dougal back. i tell you this story because it illustrates what happen as a result of incompetence with this website and this program. the administration and hhs new that americans' personal information was at risk before the website went up. i think senator roberts just
spoke about the and dr. general's report from august that warmth that obamacare's exchanges may end up here legally exposing americans' private records to hackers and criminals. the report noted cms is working with a very tight deadline to ensure that security measures for the hub are set, tested, and implement it. further, senator roberts alluded to an internal memo from september 27 of detained by "the washington post" and to quote the memo, it says inherent security risks exposes the level of uncertainty that can be deemed as a high risk to personal financial information being exposed. and you have taken responsibility, and we appreciate that -- was written specifically to you from your administrator of health plan operations and deputy cio. you signed up and ready for healthcare.gov to operate for six months with a mitigation plan to be implemented. in other words, you authorized
healthcare.gov to go forward realizing that the potential of exposing personal information was, and i quote from the memo, at high risk. my questions -- do you believe that six months is an acceptable amount of time for this website to operate in a manner that puts americans' financial information at risk for high risk of security breach? hasn't happened before? can you guarantee social security numbers are secure? will you shut down the website -- as my friends from them left have already suggested -- until security issues are fixed? i would also like to finish by get mr. dougal and answer in deleting the information from the system and we get the answer today, if possible. i have a copy of the letter he is we question -- he is requesting.
we can bring the information over to your staffer as well. i certainly realize at the beginning of the testimony, the answer was given that the theware fix has happened on information, but the software fix was simply to disable the goes, so when mr. hadley to the website, he still sees the link but he cannot click the link. so, the guarantee and the clarification that simply tells mr. dougal that he has complete confidence his information has been deleted from the system has yet not been achieved. >> first of all, senator scott, we have reached out to mr. dougal several times a week will follow. happy to give you numbers. he does not think so, actually, because no one has called him. >> we have a disagreement there. >> yes, ma'am. >> the second question -- the hub --i keep trying to separate
the two because they are two different systems. the hub was separately tested all the way through and there was a signoff from the chief information office. we should put that aside. what we are talking about is the ffm, the exchange peace, and that is the part i described herein in a six-month period, let me tell you what is going on. there is a dedicated security team working under the chief information officer. we do weekly testing of all devices, including internet facing web service, daily and weekly, 24/seven, continuous scans. we will have a full -- a stable environment with all security and controls on the software upgrade is done, and that is standard operating procedure. that will be within 60-90 days of us going live october 1. >> my time is up. thank you very much for your answer. i was only suggesting whether the hub or other entity, that i think the consumer sees is not what is going wrong, is that own,r confidence is going d
and we want to make sure we anyt y'all to the fact that aspect is of not work them the confidence is gone. but thank you, senator. -- >> senator god, i would like also if you could make -- senator scott, i would like also for you to make that information available to the -- >> welcome, mrs. tavenner. i would concede that when you reorder 16 of the american economy there will be some ofple who are unhappy -- 1/6 the american economy there will be some people are unhappy. and when you stand up a brand- new mechanism to give 30 million people access to health care that they did not have, that there would also be some people who are unhappy with their experience. and i think at some level, this should be an exercise in setting the right expectations. that when you undergo this kind
of effort to reorder a health- care system that everyone on this committee agrees is broken, there are going to be some and some will lose, and frankly, under any reform plan that has been debated in the last 20 years, that is true. what we are suggesting is that there are going to be far more people over the course of the rollout of this legislation who have a better experience than what is happening currently in the system the band have a worse experience. tole it is always risky legislate by anecdote, we are telling stories here today, so let me just add one to the mix. betty berger from connecticut. betty and her family had insurance. jobs andnd switched during the several week period in between his first job and his second job, their son was diagnosed with cancer. guess what? his