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POLITICS: PennAve

Leon Panetta: 'Tough' to fix Obamacare website by Nov. 30

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Politics,White House,Brian Hughes,Obamacare,PennAve,Healthcare.gov,Technology

A former Obama Cabinet member on Sunday expressed doubts about whether the administration could fix the problem-plagued healthcare.gov by month's end as promised.

“They say they want to fix this by the end of November, but I think that's going to be tough,” Leon Panetta, President Obama's former defense secretary and CIA director, said on CBS' “Face the Nation."

“If they can’t,” Panetta added, “they ought to be honest about what they’re confronting.”

After the botched rollout to the website for public health exchanges, Obama tasked Jeffrey Zients, former acting director of the Office of Management and Budget, with leading efforts to fix healthcare.gov.

Zients continues to insist that the vast majority of consumers will “smoothly” use the website by Nov. 30, three weeks away.

So far, limited progress has been made on eliminating the technical glitches. Enrollment figures, to be released later this week, will be “very low,” Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius acknowledged in recent days.

The stakes could not be much higher for the White House.

Panetta insisted that if problems persist, Obama must “accept changes” to his signature domestic achievement.

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Brian Hughes

White House Correspondent
The Washington Examiner