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Continued Live Coverage of HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius Testifying on Obamacare Website

Aired October 30, 2013 - 10:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


HHS SECRETARY KATHLEEN SEBELIUS: I'd be happy to get you the list of the Nebraska folks who are on the ground. It's available easily. It's public record, so I'd be happy to send it to you, so you could share it with your insurance commissioner and governor.

REP. FRED UPTON (R )-MICHIGAN: The gentlelady's time has expired.

Gentleman from the great state of Michigan, Mr. Rogers.

REP. MIKE ROGERS (R)-MICHIGAN: Thank you.

Thank you, Madam Secretary, for being here. Short time, get through some questions here, if I can.

Is it your testimony that the -- that there -- every night to try to increase the functionality of the system you're hot swapping codes?

So my understanding is that between 2:00 and 4:00, write new code, put it into the system, yes or no?

SEBELIUS: Clearly, I am not hot swapping code. There is a technical team--

(CROSSTALK)

ROGERS: No, no. You are in charge of the operation that hot swaps code on functionality. Is that -- you're trying to improve the functionality, yes?

So that happens every night, yes?

SEBELIUS: No, I don't think it does happen every night. It happens periodically during the hours of 1:00 and 5:00, but it is not a nightly feature.

ROGERS: Great.

Has each piece of that code that's been introduced in the system been security tested?

SEBELIUS: That's my understanding, yes, sir. And the testing--

ROGERS: Each piece of that code has been tested? Yes or no?

SEBELIUS: I don't know, but I can tell you that security-- ROGERS: That's a much safer answer, trust me.

SEBELIUS: -- is an ongoing operation that as code is loaded, you need to retest over and over and over again. So whether it's pre-tested, I can't tell you.

ROGERS: All right. You need to test the code.

Have any end-to-end security tests been conducted since healthcare.gov went live on October 1st, yes or no?

SEBELIUS: My understanding is, there's continuous testing as the -- our temporary authority to operate calls for.

ROGERS: Yes or no, has an end-to-end security test on healthcare.gov went live, yes or no?

SEBELIUS: I will find out exactly what testing they are doing. I know they are doing simultaneous testing as new code is loaded.

ROGERS: Are there any end-to-end security tests run after every new piece of code is put -- I'm not talking about testing the code now, I'm talking about an end-to-end security test.

SEBELIUS: I can tell you how--

ROGERS: Covers the cost of the boundaries--

(CROSSTALK)

SEBELIUS: -- I can get you that information.

ROGERS: I can tell you they are not, and I'd be interested to hear why not.

Tab -- if you go to tab two quickly in your book, I'm going to read three things--

SEBELIUS: What book, sir?

ROGERS: You have a tab there. If you go to tab two -- right there.

Well, while you're looking, I'll read. It's dated September 27th, and it is to Marilyn Tavenner. Let me just -- a couple of pieces here.

"There are inherent security risks with not having all code tested in a single environment. Finally, the system requires rapid development and release of hot fixes and patches so it is not always available or stable during the duration of the testing."

Secondly, "The security contractor has not been able to test all of the security controls in one complete version of the system."

And if you look in the first part, which is most troubling at all, it says, "Due to system readiness issues, the security control assessment was only partly completed. This constitutes a risk that must be accepted before the marketplace day one operations."

And so let me tell you what you did.

You allowed the system to go forward with no encryption on back- up systems. They had no encryption on certain boundary crossings. You accepted a risk on behalf of every user of this computer that put their personal financial information at risk because you did not even have the most basic end-to-end test on security of this system.

Amazon would never do this. ProFlowers would never do this. Kayak would never do this.

This is completely an unacceptable level of security. And here's the scary part, we found out after the contractors last week that an end-to-end test hadn't been conducted on security, not functionality, because if it's not functioning, you know it's not secure.

Your ongoing hot patches without end-to-end tests: the private contractors told us it would take a very thorough two months just for an integrated end-to-end security test, that I'll tell you has not happened to date.

Why? Because you're constantly adding new code every night to protect the functionality of the system. You have exposed millions of Americans because you all, according to your memo, believed it was an acceptable risk.

Don't you think you had the obligation to tell the American people that we're going to put you in this system, but beware, your information is likely to be vulnerable?

Would you commit today, Secretary, to shut down the system and do an end-to-end security test so that these Americans can have their information--

(CROSSTALK)

SEBELIUS: No, sir. If you read the memo--

ROGERS: Oh, I have read it.

SEBELIUS: -- say that weekly testing of our berta (ph) devices, including interface testing, daily, weekly scans are going on. This is a temporary authority--

ROGERS: (Inaudible), that's not what the memo says, number one, and number two, the contractors will tell you--

(CROSSTALK)

(UNKNOWN): Mr. Chairman, point of order. I think the witness ought to be allowed to answer what was a speech by the colleague, because he's raised a lot of issues.

UPTON: If the gentlelady will quickly answer.

ROGERS: (Inaudible) here today, that's--

UPTON: Does the secretary wish to respond briefly?

SEBELIUS: Sir, I would just say this document is a document signed by Administrator Tavenner, which discusses mitigation strategies for security that are ongoing and upgraded and a authorization to operate on a permanent basis will not be signed until these mitigation strategies are satisfied. It is under way right now, but daily and weekly monitoring and testing is under way.

ROGERS: Mr. Chairman, there are people using this system today and she's just admitted again the system isn't secure nor has (inaudible).

UPTON: The gentleman--

(UNKNOWN): Mr. Chairman, she didn't admit that. You said it, but she didn't say it.

UPTON: Gentleman's time is expired.

Mr. Doyle.

REP. MICHAEL DOYLE, (D)-PENNSYLVANIA: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Madam Secretary, welcome.

Those of us who fought for this law, who voted for this law, have a vested interest in its success, and the concerns that you here expressed on this side of the panel are real, because we want to see Americans get health care.

I think it's somewhat disingenuous for my colleagues on the other side of the podium here to have this faux anger and this faux concern over a bill that they absolutely want to fail and have rooted for its failure and have voted over 40-some times to repeal this bill, never putting an alternative plan on the floor for the American people, but just to simply say they want to make sure this plan doesn't succeed.

And I think the real fear is, that the plan will succeed and the American people will learn of the real benefits of this plan, not the propaganda campaign that's gone on by the Republicans for the last three years.

Madam Secretary, I think one of the keys to success of this plan is that we get young people to enroll in this plan. And I have some questions about some enrollment concerns that I have. Now I understand that you've said approximately 700,000 people have applied for coverage via the healthcare.gov and the state exchanges, is that -- is that--?

SEBELIUS: They've completed an application.

DOYLE: Right. Which is different from enrollment. SEBELIUS: That's correct.

DOYLE: So my question is, are you expecting -- I know you don't have exact numbers yet, but are you expecting a large number or a small month number of enrollments during the first month?

What is your thoughts on that?

SEBELIUS: Well, our projections prior to launch were always that there would be a very small number at the beginning. We watch the Massachusetts trend, which started slowly and built. I think there's no question that given our flawed launch of healthcare.gov, it will be a very small number.

DOYLE: Yes, I mean, in the Massachusetts plan, I think the first month it was 123 people signed up, less than 1 percent of the overall first-year enrollment in that first month. And we saw the same kind of numbers in Medicare Part D the first month of open enrollment back in 2006.

Madam Secretary, young Americans are the most likely age group to be uninsured, and a lot of us are concerned because of the problems that we've been having with the website, that a lot of these young folks may not come back on; you know, they have very short attention spans.

I've got four kids that all work on the Internet, and if they can't get something in five minutes, they are on to something else.

What do we do, and what plans are in place by your department to encourage young people to go back and revisit that site and to make sure that we're getting young people looking at that site and accessing it?

SEBELIUS: Well, step number one is fix the site, because we don't want people to be invited back and then have a bad experience a second time around. I think that's absolutely right. The site is particularly important to tech-savvy younger generation folks who we need to enroll.

I think that we have -- so fixing the site is step one.

And step number two is getting information to folks that the law even exists. A lot of young people haven't followed this dialogue for the last three and a half years.

(CROSSTALK)

DOYLE: Yes, I think we need a real marketing campaign, and we really need to reach out to young people, especially at the end of November when you say this site is going to be working a lot better, to make sure they are checking that site out.

SEBELIUS: You bet.

DOYLE: One of my four kids is self-employed. He's 33 years old, paying about $140 a month for a Blue Cross plan. He's eligible for a subsidy. We browsed that site. He's gonna able to get coverage for about half of what he's paying right now, and that's good news for us, because I think my wife is paying his premium, so I think we're going to save the money.

But I think it's important we had to prod him to go on that site and enroll, and I think for a lot of young people, they are not going to do it unless it's easy, so it's important we get that fixed. Thank you.

SEBELIUS: I agree.

UPTON: Dr. Murphy, chairman of the oversight subcommittee.

REP. TIM MURPHY, (R )-PENNSYLVANIA: Thank you, Madam Secretary, and welcome.

You had mentioned that the people who did the technology on the website made a number of mistakes, you mentioned Verizon. When we had them before our committee last week, they said it wasn't their fault they were told within HHS there was some problems there.

SEBELIUS: Sir, Verizon wasn't involved in the website (inaudible)--

(CROSSTALK)

MURPHY: Right, with the data, I understand, I'm sorry.

But they had a role, CGI had a role, other companies, et cetera. I'm just curious in this process, what decisions did you make that affected this for better or worse in terms of the data, the ease, or problems with the implement and being able to track how many people are actually enrolled?

SEBELIUS: My decisions (sic) specifically to design the website, I was not involved. I am prohibited to choose contractors. We go by the federal procurement, and I got regular reports on exactly what was done--

MURPHY: What about the part with regard to getting data in terms of how many people are even enrolled or trying to enroll, did you have any decisions in that process?

SEBELIUS: The application process, at this point, does not work end to end very well.

MURPHY: Right, I understand it doesn't work, that's obvious.

SEBELIUS: We do not have reliable data about the end of--

MURPHY: I'm just trying to find out, if you had asked them, to say look, I'm in charge of this, I'm going to want a regular report, how many people have tried to enroll, how many people have enrolled, have you -- did you ask that question?

SEBELIUS: We have prioritized for our contractors that specific fix, and believe me, the insurance companies are eager for us to get reliable data to make sure their data matches ours, and that is not there yet.

MURPHY: I'm just trying to -- I appreciate that. I'm trying to find out if you told them that was part of the plan and what they're doing.

Let me -- real quick, I'm hearing -- we're hearing from thousands of people who have had their policies canceled. In fact, I heard from one insurer in Pittsburgh that just canceled 30,000 individual policies.

Now, they said they expect 50,000 to 30,000 to enroll in the exchange plans. Just so you know, to date, so far, the number of people who have signed up for their plan is 10, 10.

Now I'm concerned a lot of these individuals and families aren't going to be able to make it by January 1, so I'm wondering, do you know how many families will not have been able to keep their insurance by January 1, do you have any matrix (sic) to help you understand what that is going to be?

SEBELIUS: Sir, by law that has been in place at the state level, insurance companies must give their customers a 90-day notice about a policy change or a plan cancellation.

MURPHY: I'm just wondering if you have a mechanism whereby you will know if something built in this system--

SEBELIUS: Will I know if your constituents signed up for an individual plan, no.

MURPHY: People across America.

And do we know how many policies will be canceled? I mean, is it 1,000, 10,000, 1 million, 5 million, do we know?

SEBELIUS: We know that in the individual market, a number of the plans having sold are not grandfathered and are not currently meeting the law. Those notices have gone out. We know there are about 12 million people in the individual market. A number of them have grandfathered plans. A number of them have plans which meet the essential health benefits. So I can try to--

MURPHY: Let me put a face on that.

Person named Paul wrote to me, and says, "I'm supposedly one of the families this act is supposed to help, but it's, in fact, is hurting more, and would make it harder for my family to live. We'll have less money for food and other essential items. I have a wife and four children to take care of."

Another person wrote, "I received -- I had a 2013 plan which if you include the premiums, and out of pocket total liability was $5,300. For 2014, the same program liability is $9,000. Single mom writes, "I want to convey, I'm one of the millions of people who's having their health insurance canceled, because it does not meet the standards of Obamacare. I liked my insurance. I especially liked the price. And now I'm being forced to sign up for something that will be way more expensive. As a single mom who is self employed, I'm worried about how I'm going to pay my bills."

I hope you have a mechanism to track who these people are. She's not eligible for other subsidies, but the costs are going to be driving her down.

SEBELIUS: Well sir, again, I would suggest there is no requirement that any of those consumers sign up for a plan suggested by their company at a higher price. They have now options--

MURPHY: But if a plan changes--

(CROSSTALK)

SEBELIUS: (OFF-MIKE) health underwriting, without preexisting conditions, with some guarantees around--

MURPHY: She's searching around and she can't find a plan she could afford.

(CROSSTALK)

SEBELIUS: (OFF-MIKE) they never had before.

MURPHY: She can't find a plan she can afford.

UPTON: Gentleman's time expired.

Gentleman from North Carolina, Mr. Butterfield.

REP. G. K. BUTTERFIELD, (D)- NORTH CAROLINA: Mr. Chairman, before my time begins, I have a parliamentary inquiry.

UPTON: Yes, go ahead.

BUTTERFIELD: Mr. Chairman, I'm always sensitive to committee decorum and I want to ask unanimous consent that I be allowed to display the Democratic Twitter handle. UPTON: Go ahead.

BUTTERFIELD: Hear no objection, thank you.

Secretary Sebelius, thank you so very much for coming today. I would like to ask you about the document that my Republican colleagues have just released.

This document is an authority to operate memorandum to operate the federally facilitated marketplace for six months and implement a security mitigation plan.

This document, as I understand it, describes security testing for healthcare.gov. It says that security testing of the marketplace was ongoing since its inception, and into September of this year. In fact, it says that, quote, "Throughout the three rounds of security control assessment testing, all of the security controls have been tested on different versions of the system." that's good news.

But the bad news is, that it goes on to say that, because of system readiness, a complete security assessment of all the security controls in one complete version of the system were not tested.

This document indicates that CMS postponed a final security assessment screening, but in its place, CMS did put in place a number of mitigation measures, and it concluded that these measures would mitigate any security risk.

Question, are you familiar with this document?

SEBELIUS: Yes, sir.

BUTTERFIELD: Is it correct that this document recommends implementing a dedicated security team to monitor, track, and ensure the mitigation plan activities are completed?

SEBELIUS: Yes, it does.

BUTTERFIELD: Now is it correct that this document recommends monitoring and performing weekly testing on all berta (ph) devices, including Internet-facing web servers?

SEBELIUS: More than recommended, it's underway.

BUTTERFIELD: Is it correct this document recommends conducting daily and weekly scans?

SEBELIUS: Yes, sir.

BUTTERFIELD: Does this document recommend conducting a full SEA test on the marketplace in a stable environment?

SEBELIUS: Yes, sir.

BUTTERFIELD: Is it correct that this document recommends migrating the marketplace to CMS's virtual data center environment in the first quarter of next year?

SEBELIUS: Yes, it does.

BUTTERFIELD: My understanding is that an independent security expert, the MITRE Corporation, is performing security testing on the code that powers the website on an ongoing basis, is that correct?

SEBELIUS: That is correct, and MITRE did an assessment of the system, gave us a preliminary report, they are in the process of posting their final report. That did not raise flags about going ahead, and the mitigation strategy was put in place to make sure that we had a temporary authority to operate in place while the mitigation was going on, and then a permanent authority to operate will be signed.

BUTTERFIELD: Finally, do you have confidence in these and other measures you are taking to protect the security of Americans' personal information?

SEBELIUS: I do, sir.

BUTTERFIELD: Thank you.

This is the third time you've said it during the hearing, and we believe you. Thank you.

What you're telling us is that these remedial actions and the ongoing security testing from MITRE are protecting the security of the website. That's a message that it's important for the public to hear.

My Republican colleagues do not want this website to work.

I am convinced of that.

They want to block the ACA at all costs and even shut down the government to stop the law. For the last four years, they have taken every glitch, every simple glitch, and hiccup in the law and tried to exaggerate its significance, and that's happening today and it's so disappointing.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman, I yield back.

UPTON: Dr. Burgess.

REP. MICHAEL BURGESS, (R)-TEXAS: Mr. Chairman, I wonder if I may make a unanimous consent request also?

UPTON: Yes, go ahead.

BURGESS: I would like to request unanimous consent my opening statement, which we were not allowed to be given could be made part of the record to this hearing.

UPTON: No -- no -- without objection.

BURGESS: And further, I do have a number of questions, many have come from constituents, I would also like to submit those as questions for the record--

UPTON: Without objection.

BURGESS: -- and ask the secretary for her attention to those so we can get answers, because they are, after all, important questions.

OK, thank you, Mr. Chairman.

It just came to my attention that on CNN -- the -- CNN's website, that the site was hacked just last week, and I will be happy to make this available to you. I don't think--

SEBELIUS: The CNN website?

BURGESS: The -- CNN ran a story that the healthcare.gov website was hacked last week. And again, I will get this to you and would appreciate your response to that.

Mr. Terry had asked a question about -- he wanted to get the information about the number of people who'd signed up. You said you wouldn't provide that because it wasn't accurate.

Would you provide us with the number of people who have been able to enroll on the telephone? The president gave an 800-number during his speech. Could we get a number of people who've enrolled on the telephone?

SEBELIUS: No, sir, we do not have reliable enrollment data. We will have that to you by the middle of November as we committed to. We are collecting state data. We are collection telephone data. We are collecting paper data. We are collecting website data. We want it to be reliable and accountable and that's what you'll have to--

(CROSSTALK)

BURGESS: OK. Reclaiming my time. Telephone data doesn't seem like it would be that difficult to compile since the number is likely quite low.

(CROSSTALK)

SEBELIUS: The telephone goes through the system.

(CROSSTALK)

BURGESS: You have, or the president designated, I call him a glitch czar, Jeffrey Zients. Your familiar with his appointment to the -- to oversee--

(CROSSTALK)

SEBELIUS: I asked him to serve in this capacity, yes.

BURGESS: OK. Many of us on the Subcommittee of Oversight and Investigations in Energy and Commerce were not as comforted as you by that selection because if you'll recall, Mr. Zients' history with this subcommittee is not great. He was involved with Solyndra, we asked him to come and talk to us about Solyndra in 2011. He refused, requiring a subpoena to be issued by this -- by this subcommittee. Will you commit to making Mr. Zients available to our subcommittee for our questions?

SEBELIUS: Congressman, you are welcome to ask Mr. Zients to come before the committee. He is volunteering his services to us for a period of time. He has been appointed by the President to start in January as the head of the National Economic Council. He was the Deputy Director at OMB for Management and Performance. I am thrilled that he is willing to take on this assignment and help us drive the management, but--

(CROSSTALK)

BURGESS: Again, his -- his appearance here will be important. Now a lot of people are asking if the president's words leading up to this law, if they matter, and the statement in the Washington Post today edited the President's statement, saying, "If you like your health care plan, you'll be able to keep your health care plan if we deem it adequate," but that seems like a more operational statement, and especially if you go back just a few years into the Federal Register, and I'm quoting here from the Federal Register from July 23rd of 2010, just a few months after the law was signed.

The -- the rule, or the interim rule for dealing with the grandfathering written in the Federal Record, "because newly-purchased individual policies are not grandfathered, the department expects that a large population of individual policies will not be grandfathered, covering up to and perhaps exceeding 10 million people."

I hope the president was apprised of that before he made these statements, because clearly his statement wasn't operational.

SEBELIUS: Again, that's an insurance company choice, and that was a snapshot of what the market looks like.

(CROSSTALK)

BURGESS: Your--

(CROSSTALK)

SEBELIUS: The president made it clear, and our policy was to put a grandfather clause in both employer-based coverage and in individual coverage.

(CROSSTALK)

BURGESS: Right, but in the Federal Register, those were the comments that were recorded. Now, I do have to--

(CROSSTALK)

SEBELIUS: No, this isn't a government takeover of anything. These are private insurance plans making private decisions.

(CROSSTALK)

BURGESS: I do have to ask you this. I do have to ask you this. You serve at the pleasure of the President, we're all aware of that. But we have had many of your employees here in front of this committee, and you do have to ask yourself, are these being purposely misleading, or are they really not that smart?

So I'm going to ask you this morning, for the sake of the future of healthcare in this country, will you please ask for the resignation of Gary Cohen, because he's repeatedly come to this committee and misled us.

SEBELIUS: I will not, sir.

UPTON: Gentleman's time is expired.

(UNKNOWN): Mr. Chairman, point of personal privilege. I just think the record ought to be clear about Jeffrey Zients. He was invited with less than a week's notice to come before this committee. He couldn't make it that day, he asked for some other day, he went to OMB and had nothing to do with the Solyndra contract, and he did come before us and talk about it, but his sole role was to represent OMB and I don't think he ought to have any -- there ought to be any disparagement of Jeffrey Zients. He's a very well-regarded public servant.

UPTON: The gentleman says the statement will stand. Ms. Matsui?

REP. DORIS MATSUI, (D)-CALIFORNIA: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Welcome, Madam Secretary. Now we all agree the website problems must be resolved. It's this country invented and developed the Internet and the concept of the websites, so there are high expectations. The fact that the hired private contractors could not build a ready website nearly three years is inexcusable, and after it's fixed, I hope the administration will hold those at fault accountable.

But we can't lose sight of the big picture, that when this is all said and done, every American will have affordable quality health insurance and health care. This is the goal, I believe, of all Democrats and Republicans. The ACA's working in California, and it's working in my district in Sacramento.

And I just want to tell you about a letter I got from a constituent. "Dear Congresswoman Matsui, as a self-employed contract employee, I've had individually-purchased health insurance for 11 years now. Insurance has gone up every year, sometimes more than once, insurance that wouldn't let me add my daughter when my ex- husband stopped his insurance policy that covered them both, insurance that I have underused for fear they would drop me, insurance that has just dropped me anyway because they decided they would no longer offer individual plans. This could have happened to me at any time. I'm so grateful that the Affordable Care Act provisions make it possible to get health insurance beginning in January for me and my daughter. As all this is happening, I have finished graduate school and started my own business. Slowly but surely things are happening and I expect to be hiring my first employees in the next six months. The provisions of the ACA are helping me in this too. I can clearly see what it will cost me to provide health benefits for my future employees, understand these costs, and build my business plan accordingly." And that is just one of the letters I have received.

Now, I've also heard from my colleagues on the other side of the aisle complain again and again about how healthcare reform is increasing healthcare costs. But the empirical evidence shows something quite different. The recent trends in Medicare spending growth are really quite remarkable. Medicare spending growth is at historically low levels, growing by less than one-half of 1 percent in fiscal year 2012, following slow growth in 2010 and 2011.

The same is true on the private side of healthcare. Personal consumption expenditures on healthcare, everything from health insurance to drugs to hospital care, rose by just over 1 percent in the past year. This is the slowest increase in nearly 50 years.

Madam Secretary, what does this data tell us about what has happened to health care costs since the ACA became law?

SEBELIUS: Well Congresswoman, you're absolutely right. In the last three and a half years since the President signed the Affordable Care Act, we have seen a great slowdown in the extraordinary cost increases year in and year out for health care in the Medicare plan, in the Medicaid plan, in private insurance, and in underlying health care costs, which affect every American.

Some of that has to do with some of the features that are currently in place around different care delivery and different payment systems that we are helping to drive, given the tools that we have with the Affordable Care Act, more quality outcomes, trying to prevent hospital readmissions, looking at hospital-acquired infections, medical homes that prevent people in the first place or help them stay healthy in their own homes and in their own places.

MATSUI: So it's true that the private insurance costs are growing at the slowest rate in decades also, is that true?

SEBELIUS: That is true.

MATSUI: So am I also correct that the ACA Act (sic) premiums are coming in even lower than projected by experts like the CBO?

SEBELIUS: Well, they're about, on an average, about 16 percent lower than was estimated, that those premiums would be, and that's the premium, not accounting for the number of uninsured or underinsured Americans who will then qualify for financial help. Since they don't have employer coverage, they get some help from the taxpayers paying for that coverage.

MATSUI: Thank you, Madam Secretary.

UPTON: Dr. Gingrey?

REP. PHIL GINGREY, (R)-GEORGIA: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Madam Secretary, when you spoke at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte last September, one of the first statements you made about the Affordable Care Act was, quote, "but for us Democrats, Obamacare is a badge of honor, because no matter who you are, what stage of life you're in, this law is a good thing.

First, if you already have insurance you like, you can keep it," and I end the quote. I'd call this a red herring that misled voters, intentional or not. Now perhaps had you known that millions would lose their coverage, families would face financial disaster, as one constituent recently told me, or that the exchange roll-out would be plagued by a multitude, multiple delays we've seen, you would not consider such a badge of honor.

The fact is, your words and those of the President as he campaigned last year, that "if you already have insurance you like, you can keep it," seemed to be directly refuted by the millions of cancellation notices already sent to Americans just in the past few weeks.

Whether your statement was inaccurate, or as Mr. Hoyer said yesterday, "not precise enough," it does strike me that millions of individuals who, by listening to speeches like yours, voted, believing one thing, now find themselves without coverage and are now scrambling to find coverage in a marketplace that offers more expensive plans with fewer options.

In response to my constituents' calls for help, I created a portal on my website -- no patches or fixes needed -- that allows those who have experienced problems to reach out and tell me about their personal experiences.

In just the last few days, my office has received dozens of complaints regarding increases in their monthly premiums. I received one such notice from a mother in her early 50s who just received a notice that not only will her insurance premiums double, but she will also have to switch insurance -- insurers to keep her doctors due to the effect of the Affordable Care Act.

Can you imagine receiving notices like this? I can tell you that, just in my district, the 11th of Georgia, many more are experiencing this situation.