Nightly News   |  September 30, 2013

Sebelius: ‘We bear part of the responsibility’ for health care confusion

In an exclusive interview with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, NBC’s Dr. Nancy Snyderman asks key questions about the Affordable Care Act.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> now to the other big deadline at midnight. the new health care law at the center of the showdown in congress. a big part of the law will start to take effect tomorrow when people without health insurance can sign up to buy coverage. our new poll with the kaiser family foundation shows 70% say they are very or somewhat worried they will have to pay more for health care or health insurance . 62% of those without insurance say they are confused about the new law. our chief medical editor dr. nancy snyderman sat down for an exclusive interview with the woman in charge today, health and human ser vises secretary kathleen sebelius .

>> with all the run-up time to the eve of this, why the confusion today and why not more enthusiasm?

>> i think it still isn't real for a lot of people. there is a lot of confusion.

>> is that your fault?

>> i think we bear part of the responsibility of not being able to get through a lot of the noise.

>> one of the big concerns is as numbers were tossed out there we don't know how things are going to fall and that the middle class may really take out on the chin.

>> the middle class , i would say, depending on where that middle class employee works, has been taking it on the chin.

>> when the president says this is the cost of your cable bill or your cell phone bill that's not quite true.

>> 6 of 10 people will have the choice, if they choose to make it. the choice of a policy for under $100.

>> the back end hurts.

>> it's a debate. do you want to have protection for every change-up, every visit, everything you do or do you have a situation where you are making a determination where you and your family don't use medical services that much and you want to make sure you have protection if something goes terribly wrong.

>> is it conceivable to you that the number of a $5,000 or $6,000 deductible for a middle class family is a feasible number?

>> well, i think families can make a budget choice. if that isn't something they can pay for -- and a lot of people couldn't pay that out of pocket -- they will want a lower deductible.

>> what does success look like?

>> i think success looks like at least 7 million people having signed up by the end of march 2014 .

>> this is coming tomorrow. people without insurance can start signing up to buy it. tomorrow, october 1 , the benefits then kick in january 1 , 2014 . you will have until march 31 of next year to enroll. i think a lot of people will start to look at health care .gov where you can look at the marketplace in your state and explore options for your coverage. there are a lot of options out there. i think people are going to be a little overwhelmed when they see what the new marketplace looks like.

>> what a time beginning with the 24-hour period. dr. nancy snyderman , thank you.