News

‘Frustrated’ Obama vows to fix healthcare website

‘Frustrated’ Obama vows to fix healthcare website

I'M FRUSTRATED: President Barack Obama speaks about healthcare from the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington Oct. 21, 2013. Obama said he is "frustrated" with the glitches plaguing the healthcare roll out. Photo: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama declared himself frustrated on Monday with the malfunctioning website that is central to his signature healthcare law and vowed to take steps to fix it.

Scrambling to get ahead of a burgeoning political uproar over implementation of the Affordable Care Act, Obama took to the White House Rose Garden to insist the law is bigger than just a website and that eventually the bugs in the software will get worked out.

Online insurance exchanges were launched on Oct. 1 under the 2010 law, often called “Obamacare,” to offer health insurance plans to millions of uninsured Americans.

But people trying to shop for health insurance at healthcare.gov have been frustrated by error messages, long waits and system failures, with many failing to make it through the system despite repeated tries.

The president acknowledged the depth of the problem.

“There’s no sugarcoating it. The website has been too slow. People have been getting stuck during the application process. And I think it’s fair to say that nobody is more frustrated by that than I am,” Obama said.

Republicans strongly oppose the law and have begun to focus intense criticism on the healthcare system’s roll out. The law is the most important domestic policy achievement of Obama’s presidency.

The president, standing with a number of Americans who have enrolled successfully using the system, encouraged uninsured Americans to pursue alternative means to sign up for coverage, pointing them toward phone call centers and saying those who tried but failed to get into the system would be contacted personally.

Fresh expert assistance, including some of the best technology talent in the country, is being brought in to repair the website, he said.

“Nobody’s madder than me about the fact that the website isn’t working as well as it should, which means it’s going to get fixed,” he said.

The White House said last week that Obama still has “full confidence” in Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, whose department is responsible for implementing the law.

Recent Headlines

in Local Sports

Seattle’s Chancellor falls in practice but probable for game

seattle seahawks kam chancellor

Chancellor fell near the goal line on the second-to-last play of Friday's practice according to the pool report. He walked off the field without a limp, but left the practice facility with a wrap on his left knee.

in Local Sports

High School Scoreboard

Basketball

High school basketball scores for Friday, Jan. 30

in Sports

Feds seize $19.5M in counterfeit items ahead of Super Bowl

xlix

More than 325,000 counterfeit jerseys and Super Bowl-related merchandise were seized by the NFL and law enforcement.

in Entertainment, Local Sports

Lenny Kravitz will be rooting for Seahawks on Sunday

Lenny Kravitz en concert. SPE. Panoramic

Pitbull is picking the New England Patriots, while Lenny Kravitz likes the Seahawks

in Sports

This weekend’s sports schedule

xlix

A complete look at this weekend's sports schedule.