Obama 'brainstorms' with insurance executives

McClatchy Washington BureauNovember 15, 2013 

Obama Insurance CEOs

President Barack Obama makes a statement before the start of a meeting with representatives of health insurance companies. From left are, Chris Jennings, deputy assistant to the president for Health Policy; Department of Health and Human Services Office of Health Reform Director Michael Hash; Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services head Marilyn Tavenner; the president; White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough; White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett and White House counsel Kathryn Ruemmler.


President Barack Obama said Friday that he was soliciting ideas from insurance industry executives on how to move forward in the enrollment stage of the troubled health care law.

"I appreciate all these folks coming in. We're going to be soliciting ideas from them. This is going to be a collaborative process," Obama said. "We want to make sure we get this done so in the years to come that every American is going to have the kind of affordable health care they all deserve."

Obama was seated at a table surrounded by industry and administrative officials, including Marilyn Tavenner, administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and Chief of Staff Denis McDonough.

"We know the demand is out there for that. We had, despite all the problems with the website, over a million people apply." he said. "Many multiples of that wanted to see what options were available. Obviously because of the problems with the website some folks have been blocked from seeing the well-priced benefits that are available in the marketplace. We're working 24-7 to get it fixed. The website is working a lot better than it was a couple weeks ago."

"What we're going to be doing is brainstorming on how do we make sure that everyone understands what there options are. Because of choice and competition a whole lot of Americans who have always seen health insurance out of reach are going to be in a position to purchase it and because of the law we're also going to be able to provide them help even if they are still having trouble purchasing that insurance. But they have to know what those options are in order to be successful."

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