Medicare chief apologizes for website problems

WASHINGTON (AP) - There's an apology today from the head of the Medicare program, for the website troubles that have kept Americans from signing up for the new health insurance exchanges.

Although millions of Americans have shown an interest in checking out the new options, it appears that few have been able to get through the online application process.

Marilyn Tavenner told a House panel that the initial numbers are expected to be "small." She wouldn't reveal any precise numbers.

An internal memo obtained by The Associated Press shows that the administration expected nearly 500,000 people to gain coverage just in October, the program's first month.

House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp, a Michigan Republican, drew his own conclusion. He told Tavenner that by his math, the administration appears headed for less than a fourth of its October sign-up estimate.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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