Obama says he's "not happy" with healthcare web glitches

Posted by Lesley Clark on October 30, 2013 

President Obama took responsibility Wednesday for the error-prone health care website and promised it would be fixed.

"Right now, the website is too slow, too many people have gotten stuck. And I am not happy about it," Obama said, defending his signature health care law from the same site in Boston where former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney signed his own health care plan into law.

Obama said there was "no excuse" for the problem-laden website: "And I take full responsibility for making sure it gets fixed ASAP."

He called the Massachusetts law that his 2012 Republican challenger had championed, a "success," but noted that it too had problems getting started, including "extremely slow" enrollment.

But, Obama said today there's nearly universal coverage in Massachusetts, "and the vast majority of its citizens are happy with their coverage."

He said the "parade of horribles, the worst predictions about health care reform," that critics had raised in Massachusetts were being raised now, but that "they never came true."

And he credited Romney with the law, saying "he did the right thing on health care." Romney, however, who was not invited to the event, did not return the compliment.

He noted on his Facebook page that he believes "that a plan crafted to fit the unique circumstances of a single state should not be grafted onto the entire country."

Obama praised governors who are expanding Medicaid to cover more people, but criticized the Republican governors who aren't, saying "unfortunately, there are others that are so locked into the politics of this thing that they won't lift a finger to help their own people."

He insisted there had been "confusion and misinformation” about some people losing their health insurance, but insisted that "nobody is losing their right to health care coverage."

Obama had routinely promised as the law was being drafted that people who liked their health care plans would be able to keep them, but some who self purchase have found their plans cancelled.

Obama said since the law was passed some insurers who changed sub-par plans, but replaced them with “quality, comprehensive coverage.

"So if you're getting one of these letters, just shop around in the new marketplace," he said. "Most people are going to be able to get better, comprehensive health care plans for the same price or even cheaper than projected. You're going to get a better deal."

Obama vowed that the administration would "grind it out" on health care -- comparing it to the effort to make the prescription drug program for seniors work.

"That health care law had some early challenges as well," he said. "There were even problems with the website."

He said Democrats had opposed much of the George W. Bush-era legislation, but that "once it was the law, everybody pitched in to try to make it work. Democrats weren't about to punish millions of seniors just to try to make a point or settle a score. So Democrats worked with Republicans to make it work.

"Both parties working together to get the job done -- that's what we need in Washington right now," he said. "If Republicans in Congress were as eager to help Americans get covered as some Republican governors have shown themselves to be, we'd make a lot of progress."

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