While appearing before the Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius summed up the Healthcare.gov launch perfectly: "There is no excuse for what has been a miserable five weeks." Tuesday afternoon may have been a low point, when meeting notes between federal officials and contractors were released by Rep. Darrell Issa, chair of the House oversight committee, and they showed just how bad the launch went. In her written statement, Politico reports, Sebelius hit the same talking points — they're working on the site, and "by the end of November, the experience on the site will be smooth for the vast majority of users." But as the notes show, the administration didn't realize just how bad the site was until October 8.
(Update: During the hearing Sebelius admitted that those technical problem will result in "quite low" numbers, according to The Hill. "I’m hoping that with the site improvement we’ll see more robust numbers," she said. If all goes well, the administration expects to see a flood of enrollees just before the December 15 deadline for January insurance, and another rush approaching the March 31 close of the enrollment period.)