Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius admitted Monday night that she did not know how many people had signed up to take part in the online health insurance exchanges provided for by ObamaCare, but then claimed that "hundreds of thousands" of accounts had been created.
Appearing on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," Sebelius was asked point-blank by the host if she knew how many Americans had enrolled in the exchanges. Sebelius responded, "Fully enrolled, I can't tell you, because I don't know. We are taking applications on the web, on the phone, we'll be giving monthly reports, but I can tell you we've had not only lots of web hits, hundreds of thousands of accounts created."
When pressed on the point by Stewart, Sebelius said that the accounts created meant that people would buy insurance on the exchanges at a later date, comparing it to travel site Kayak.com.
Later in the interview, Stewart challenged Sebelius over the one-year delay to the law's employer mandate. Sebelius dismissed criticism of that move by the Obama administration, saying, "Nothing that helps an individual gets insurance has been delayed at all. They can -- they’ll get the tax credit this year. They'll have plans to choose from ... [big businesses] are in the market already."
That answer didn't seem to satisfy Stewart, who admitted he was "still not sure why individuals can't delay" after hearing Sebelius' answers.
At the close of the interview, Stewart asked Sebelius if the online exchange enrollment would work better in the future than it had in its first week of existence. Many who have attempted to use the exchanges have reported technical glitches. The problems range from the federal exchange site launching several hours later than promised, to state exchanges that were either slow to open, didn’t allow purchases, or didn't open at all when they promised they would.
Sebelius responded "It started off a little rockier than we liked [but] it's better today than it was yesterday, and it will keep getting better."