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Health Secretary Defends Health Care Law

Updated: Wednesday, November 6 2013, 01:54 PM CST

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is acknowledging problems with the startup of the health care law. But in testimony to a Senate committee, she's also defending that law, saying it's starting to drive down health care costs for consumers.

In her prepared testimony for the Senate Finance Committee, Sebelius acknowledged that using the website "has been frustrating for many Americans."

But she said the site's problems are being steadily fixed, and that it will operate smoothly for most people by the end of the month. She also said the insurance marketplaces that the law is setting up are resulting in lower rates.

Sebelius cited figures for some premiums that she said are 16 percent lower than had been estimated.

But she was appearing before lawmakers whose concerns are expanding -- not just about the troubled website and possible security problems with the site, but also about the millions of Americans who've been notified that their current policies won't still be offered under the health care law.

Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch told Sebelius that the administration had been "untruthful" before the rollout of the law. He said President Barack Obama's promise that people who like their insurance can keep it has proven not to be true.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Health Secretary Defends Health Care Law

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