The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

AP story section

November 6, 2013

Senators grapple with health care rollout woes

(Continued)

“We are seeing improvements each week, and by the end of November, the experience on the site will be smooth for the vast majority of users,” she said.

Tavenner said the site would be “fully functioning” by the end of the month.

She appeared at a time when Democrats remain uneasy about the implementation of a program they created over unanimous Republican opposition in 2010.

The website went down again in the middle of the day Monday for about 90 minutes. And the administration still refuses to divulge enrollment statistics until mid-November.

Tavenner began her career as a nurse and built a successful record as a hospital executive before entering public service. Seen as a businesslike manager, she has enjoyed support from lawmakers across the political spectrum.

HealthCare.gov was supposed to provide one-stop shopping for people who don’t have a health plan on the job. Its target audience is not only uninsured Americans but those who already purchase coverage individually. Middle-class people can sign up for private coverage made more affordable by tax credits that act like a discount on premiums. Lower-income people will be steered to an expanded version of Medicaid in states that agreed to expand that safety net program.

A new study released Tuesday estimates the potential size of the market nationally at 28.6 million people. The nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation says three out of five, or more than 17 million people, will be eligible for tax credits. That includes both uninsured people and those switching over from current individual plans.

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