Marilyn Tavenner: Obama official is first to apologize for website issues

The head of the federal agency in charge of the problem-plagued Obamacare website apologized Tuesday for the delays, error messages and other troubles faced by consumers trying to use

"I want to apologize to you that the website does not work as well as it should," said Marilyn Tavenner, who heads the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, at a congressional hearing on the matter.

She said the website "can and will be fixed" so that the "vast majority" of consumers can use it smoothly by the end of November.

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Tavenner also told a congressional committee that "these individuals in a small group, our individual markets, had no protections" before the reforms became law.

Such consumers "could be kicked out any time for pre-existing conditions" or if they faced needing hospitalization or cancer treatment that their policies failed to cover, Tavenner said, adding that the reforms now protect them by requiring a minimum standard of coverage.

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