Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius stopped at North Shore Hospital on Tuesday, talking up the value of the Affordable Care Act despite its rocky rollout.
As of last week, only 3,500 Floridians had been able to sign up at HealthCare.gov, a small percentage of those who tried. Sebelius was apologetic about the initial failure of the website and said its problems were being fixed.
"The web site is on a constant improvement plan. It is so much better today than it was at the beginning of October," said Sebelius.
She met with people like Carmen Celeiro, who couldn't get insurance until now.
"I pray that I don't get sick and thank God I haven't," said Celeiro. "It's a Godsend. I think we need it."
Carla Crauser, of El Portal, said she needs insurance for herself, her husband, and two children.
"I need some sort of coverage," she said.
Nick Bianchi, of Miami Beach, was among those able to sign up.
"It actually took me about three days," he said. "Obviously, I did it out-of-work hours, so I was doing it when I got home, and finally I successfully got into the system, saw all the comparisons of the different coverages that were available."
Bianchi said his plan costs half as much as his previous one.