Obama frustrated over Obamacare website problems - New York News

Obama frustrated over Obamacare website problems

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama on Monday said there was "no excuse" for the cascade of computer problems that have marred the rollout of key elements in his health care law, but declared he was confident the administration would be able to fix the issues.

"There's no sugarcoating it," Obama said. "Nobody is more frustrated than I am."

The president said his administration was doing "everything we can possibly do" to get the federally run websites up and running. And he guaranteed that everyone who wants to get insurance through the new health care exchanges will be able to.

Obama's event in the White House Rose Garden had the feeling of a health care pep rally, with guests in the Rose Garden applauding as Obama ticked through what the White House sees as benefits of the law. The president was introduced by a woman who had successfully managed to sign up for health insurance through the marketplaces in her home state of Delaware.

The president insisted that his health care law is about more than just a website.

"The essence of the law, the health insurance that's available to people, is working just fine," he said.

The White House says more than 19 million people have visited HealthCare.gov since the site went live on Oct. 1. Officials also say a half million people have applied for insurance on the federal- and state-run websites.

Republicans are calling it a fiasco and even Democrats acknowledge it's off to a rocky start.

“The only thing I didn't want to see us waste any more money on is Obamacare.” Senator Marc Rubio said. “Which has proven to be a disaster. We are already seeing these exchanges, the sign up on the exchanges, which was supposed to be the easy part of this endeavor, has turned into a fiasco that the administration is struggling with, so why would we waste a penny more on that."

Democrats say the goal of seven million people registered by March is still feasible as problems are addressed and the public responds.

"I think that there's no one more frustrated than The President at the difficulty in the website.” Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said. “I can tell you while most people around me have been working full time to solve the immediate challenges with getting the government open and dealing with making sure that we didn't default, there are people working 24 hours a day around the clock."

The House has scheduled a hearing for Thursday, but Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius won't be there because of a scheduling conflict. There's growing pressure from Republicans for Sebelius to resign.



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