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CNN "Newsroom" - Transcript: HealthCare.gov

Interview

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BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

POPPY HARLOW, CNNMONEY.COM CORRESPONDENT: And I want to get you, too, Representative Pallone of New Jersey. Thank you both also for waiting. I know we kept you waiting for a while and thank you for joining us together to talk about this.

What is your response? Because in that first long set of questioning from Chairman Camp, we heard him ask over and over for some specific numbers from her and her agency.

Can you tell us how many people have enrolled? Can you tell us how many are in which age group, how many are some of those critical younger enrollees?

And she said repeatedly, we will have those numbers in mid-November.

What's your reaction to that? Did you expect, did you want hard numbers so far?

REP. FRANK PALLONE (D), N.J.: No. I mean, look, the bottom line is that the enrollment period continues and more and more people are signing up either through the website or through other means. And the insurance doesn't go into effect until January 1st.

People can go, you know, to the 1-800 number. They can go to an insurance agent. They can, you know, there are various places like in my district on Friday we took people to the Food Bank where they can sign up.

So at this point, we're just trying to get as many people as possible to sign up. And they don't need the website in order to sign up. That's the point that I think she was trying to make. And the Republicans keep, you know -- I think the Republicans are trying to scare people. They give the impression that, you know, well, I don't know if you should use the website.

Well, if you don't want to use the website, try one of the other means. The issue now isn't how many people have signed up today. The issue is how many people will be signed up by January 1st.

And I think that we're making a real attempt now to fix the website. As of last week, I think three out of 10 people could enroll. Hopefully those numbers will increase. And by the end of November it should be 100 percent. But again, I don't know why there's all this emphasis on the website. You don't -- you can go through traditional means, insurance agents, 800 number.

(CROSSTALK)

SAVIDGE: Before we run out of time, I do want to ask you both, Congressman Gardner, you know, tomorrow, Kathleen Sebelius, let's talk about that.

What do you want to hear from her other than, maybe, I resign?

What is it you're expecting?

GARDNER: I would like to hear from her why the president's promise, "if you like your healthcare plan, you can keep it," simply isn't coming true for millions of Americans and why the president knew about it years ago. And yet still on his website said, if you like your health care plan, you can keep it.

I'm one of those Americans that got a cancellation letter because we have private insurance. We wanted to be in the same boat as all Coloradans. We have a private insurance policy in Colorado that as we said canceled. I got the same letter that millions of Americans are getting.

Yet, I would like to hear why this president told me I could keep my healthcare plan that I liked it, and yet it's being canceled. It's a disgrace what's --

(CROSSTALK)

PALLONE: It's not being canceled.

GARDNER: -- happening to millions of people around this country.

SAVIDGE: Congressman Pallone?

PALLONE: This is not true. Look, the fact of the matter --

GARDNER: I'll show you my letter.

PALLONE: -- if your insurance is being canceled, it's not being canceled because of the Affordable Care Act.

(CROSSTALK)

PALLONE: The insurance company is not telling the truth. I mean, they're using the Affordable Care Act --

GARDNER: (Inaudible) telling the truth.

PALLONE: Yes, of course. I mean, the bottom line is you may have your insurance, you can keep it. If your company is canceling your policy, it's not because of the Affordable Care Act. What the Affordable Care Act does is expands your options. So if you have insurance or you don't like your insurance, you can get a better policy at a more affordable price.

But I know it's true that companies and insurance companies are using it as an excuse. I mean, there's nothing we can do about that. They're going to say whatever they please. But it's simply not true.

GARDNER: But I have an individual insurance policy --

HARLOW: Let me jump in here, guys. There's actually a technicality, though, that our Joe Johns reported on earlier today about when you got your policy, did you have your policy before Obamacare was passed or did you get it since it was passed? That is something that is important there.

We have a minute and a half left in the show. We can't dig into all of that.

But I'm wondering, I mean, this a precursor to Kathleen Sebelius testifying on the Hill.

To you, Representative Pallone, what is your main question to her that you want an answer to?

PALLONE: Well, I think she's already answered the question about the website, which is that they have now working. And that by the end of November, everyone will be able to enroll.

I'm very concerned that this is just -- that this committee meeting, again, hearing, is just going to be another effort to sabotage the Affordable Care Act and not really get to the bottom of this glitch. She's already made it quite clear what they're doing to correct the glitch. So I don't even know why they're having the hearing.

But if they're going to have it, let's hope that they focus on ways, positive ways, to get rid of the glitch and have the website work again and how other people -- how people can sign up without using the website.

SAVIDGE: All right. We're going to interrupt both of you.

Gentlemen, thank you very much for staying. We really do appreciate, but Paul Ryan is speaking now. We want to go back to the hearing.


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