In an interview with
“No, sir,” not before the launch, she told CNN’s
The former Kansas governor whose department was responsible for building the website tried to tout progress on repairs to the federal website intended to link uninsured Americans to affordable private insurance plans. Since the Oct. 1 launch of www.healthcare.gov, users have had trouble signing on to the site, getting accurate estimates and completing enrollment.
Sebelius said 1.1 million calls have come into a call center that can assist with enrollment. The 19 million visitors to the website are evidence of the overwhelming demand for affordable coverage, Sebelius said. Roughly 500,000 of those visitors have been able to create accounts on the site, she said. Her department has not released the number of people successfully enrolled in insurance plans through the website.
Sebelius would not say whether she had discussed with Obama whether she might step down.
"I think my job is to get this fully implemented and to get the website working right," Sebelius told CNN's Sanjay Gupta. "And that's really what I'm focused on. I work at the pleasure of the president. He is singularly focused on making sure we deliver on this promise. That's what I'm committed to doing."
Administration critics are calling for Sebelius’ resignation and have begun investigating why and how the website, the centerpiece of the Obama
The pressure to fix the site and explain the cause of the problems isn’t just coming from the administration’s adversaries.
"This has been shrouded in a little bit of mystery. I don't quite understand why that is; I think it's better to be straightforward about it," Axelrod, an MSNBC contributor, said on "The Last Word."
"[If] I were in the White House, I would be communicating regularly on those fixes, but I also would be very, very tough on the people who are responsible to get those fixes done quickly," Axelrod said. "I'd be, as I'm sure they are, kicking a bunch of folks in the butt every day to make sure that what needs to be done is being done."
Former White House spokesman Robert Gibbs also has critiqued the White House handling of the fallout and Sen.
On Tuesday, Sebelius did not directly say whether the administration was considering such a move.
"Well, I don't think that that really is the question right now. The issue is will people be able to sign up for affordable health care in the six months' open enrollment period? And I think the answer is absolutely yes," she said.