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HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius In Dallas; Talks Healthcare Website

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DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) - During a visit to Dallas Friday afternoon, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius acknowledged the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services discovered a potential security flaw on the web site earlier this week.

At a news conference at the Martin Luther King Jr. Family Clinic, the Secretary was asked why this is happening.

“That’s why you test. There will be ongoing issues, and as soon as they’re identified. The good news for the site is there’s never been an intrusion of the site,” said Sebelius. “They’ve repelled people who’ve tried to get into the site, and we are constantly monitoring and testing it.”

Members of Congress have raised concerns about the security on the government’s website, which could potentially compromise the personal information of those who sign up for the federal subsidized health insurance policies.

“A lot of reassurances that there really is no problem, we’re on it, and yet as weeks go by, you get additional information that maybe things weren’t as ready as they said. Are there ongoing risks? It appears there may very well be, said U.S. Representative Michael Burgess, Republican of Lewisville.

Secretary Sebelius acknowledged the website had a very rocky start, but says it is working much better now.

The website in Spanish also had a soft launch just ten days ago after it was delayed.

While at the MLK Junior Family Clinic, the Secretary also met with two young women who recently signed up for the health insurance coverage on the government’s website.

The women say they enrolled after finding affordable health insurance plans on the site.

On Friday, President Obama said one million Americans have now signed up for health insurance coverage, though far more people lost their health insurance policies because their plans didn’t meet new requirements under the Affordable Care Act.

If you want to have federally subsidized health insurance coverage to begin by January 1st, you must sign up for a plan on the website by Monday, December 23rd.

However, the final deadline to sign up for a health insurance plan, if you don’t have one, is March 31.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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