Sebelius Won't Delay Obamacare: ‘People’s Lives Depend on This’

By Susan Jones | November 6, 2013 | 11:27 AM EST

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. (AP File Photo)

( – Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told the Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday that delaying the Affordable Care Act, which takes full effect in January, is not an option.

“People’s lives depend on this,” she said in her opening statement.

“Delaying the Affordable Care Act wouldn’t delay people’s cancer or diabetes or Parkinson’s," she continued. "It wouldn’t delay the need for mental health services or cholesterol screenings or prenatal care.

“Delaying the Affordable Care Act doesn’t delay the foreclosure notices for families forced into bankruptcy by unpayable  medical bills. It doesn’t delay the higher costs all of us pay when uninsured Americans are left with no choice but to rely on emergency rooms for care.

“So for millions of Americans, delay is not an option. People’s lives depend on this. Too many hard-working people have been waiting too long for the ability to obtain affordable health insurance.

“We want to save families form going bankrupt, we want to save the lives of more of our friends and neighbors by allowing them to detect medical issues early. We went to keep prices down – delay is not an option.”

As for the dysfunctional website, Sebelius said, “We are making progress, but there’s still a lot of work to do.”