Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Monday night that she did not know how many people have signed up for President Obama's healthcare law since its insurance exchanges went live last week.
“How many have signed up thus far?” host Jon Stewart asked on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.”
“Fully enrolled, I can’t tell you. I don’t know,” Sebelius said. “We’ve been taking applications on the Web, on the phone, but I can tell you not only lots of Web hits, hundreds of thousands of accounts created.”
Healthcare.gov, the website running the new ObamaCare insurance marketplace, has been experiencing technical setbacks since it went live last Tuesday.
“It started a little rockier than we’d like, but it’s getting better by the day,” Sebelius said.
Stewart mocked Sebelius for the glitches.
“I’m going to attempt to download every movie ever made, and you’re going to try to sign up for ObamaCare, and we’ll see which happens first.”
“If I’m an individual that doesn’t want this, it would be hard for me to look at a big business getting a waiver," Stewart said. "I would feel like you are favoring big business because they lobbied you, but you’re not allowing individuals that same courtesy.”
Eighty-five percent of Americans, however, already get healthcare insurance from their employers, Sebelius argued.
“People who have been waiting a long time finally have a market to choose from," Sebelius said. “That’s the good news.“
The remaining components of the 3-year-old healthcare law, which the Supreme Court ruled constitutional in 2012, take effect in 2014.
“You can also figure out if your doctor’s in the plan that you want, if the network of hospitals is in the plan you want, what kind of drug you take is that in the plan you want. You’ve never been able to do that before,” Sebelius said.
Americans interested in signing up have until Dec. 15 to enroll for their new insurance to take effect in January.