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Sebelius: ACA enrollment ‘quite low’

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius acknowledged on Wednesday that the initial enrollment numbers through the new healthcare exchanges will be “quite low.”

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In testimony to the Senate Finance Committee, Sebelius said “the struggles people have had getting access to the site” will contribute to a disappointing first month and a half.

“I’m hoping that with the site improvement we’ll see more robust numbers, but until the site is really improved … we’re going to have a struggle getting significant numbers to sign up,” she said.

The administration has faced growing calls to provide enrollment figures, which it has so far refused to disclose, saying the early stages of enrollment make it impossible to provide reliable or accurate data.

On Tuesday, Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services administrator Marilyn Tavenner said the agency will publish Affordable Care Act enrollment data next week.

In her testimony, Tavenner said she hoped to have 800,000 enrollees by the end of November, but didn’t say whether that number includes new Medicaid and state exchange enrollees. 

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