Michael Lampin and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius
ATLANTA -- "Do I wish things had operated totally smoothly on October first? You bet."
Kathleen Sebelius is asking and answering questions she has heard over and over again.
"Was October a bad month? You bet."
She is the cabinet secretary who claimed responsibility for the troubled rollout of the Affordable Care Act -- vilified in Congress, clobbered in public opinion.
Yet the Secretary of Health and Human Services spent a carefully-arranged morning among friendly Atlanta audiences -- with assurances that the health care program is better than its underpowered web site.
"The site is much better today than it was. But in three and a half weeks, we want it operating in a much different pace," Sebelius said.
Michael Lampin told Sebelius he spent several days trying to get onto the ACA site. Once he got in, he actually upgraded his personal insurance.
"It's going to save us, together, over $5,000 a year. And we're going to have better coverage," Lampin told Sebelius at South Fulton Health Center.
Lampin's story was in stark contrast to waves of stories told nationwide about insurance plans disappearing under the Affordable Care Act -- revelations that prompted an apology from the president amid accusations of a key promise broken.
Secretary Sebelius had no assurances of a fix. "We're looking at a range of options. There is not a specific proposal," Sebelius told reporters -- signalling, still, the extent to which the Affordable Care Act remains a troubled work-in-progress.