Obama to Americans: No Excuses for Obamacare Glitches
On Monday morning, from the Rose Garden of the White House, President Barack Obama began damage control in earnest, addressing the glitches that have plagued the opening weeks of the Affordable Care Act’s online insurance marketplaces. Signing up for coverage via healthcare.gov, the web portal that links customers to the online marketplaces for the 36 states with federally-facilitated exchanges has been particularly troublesome, with hours of waiting, a backlog of potential enrollees, problems calculating subsidies, and numerous error messages. But, speaking before an audience of consumers, small business owners, and pharmacists, the president had one point to emphasize: the product is good.
Facing criticism from Republican lawmakers and other Obamacare detractors, he did acknowledge that, “There’s no sugarcoating it. The website has been too slow. People have been stuck during the application process.” Yet, while Obama said the system glitches were unacceptable and an army of technical experts are working to fix the problems that have hampered the implementation of the cornerstone provision of the Affordable Care Act, he argued that Obamacare as a whole is working as planned.
The health care reform is more than a website, he explained. Excluding the website, the health care reform is providing new consumer protections to millions of Americans, and new benefits — including mammograms and mental health care services — are now required, he added.