Obama: ‘There will still be problems’ after Nov. 30 with health-care site

November 14, 2013

When asked during Thursday's White House news conference whether HealthCare.gov would be fully fixed by the end of the month, the president was careful not to promise that would happen by Nov. 30.

“It’s fair to say that the improvement will be marked and noticeable,” President Obama said, adding that “the Web site will work much better than it did” Oct. 1.

“On November 30th, it will be a lot better. But there will still be some problems,” he added.

President Obama defended his health-care law during a long question and answer session about the Affordable Care Act Friday. “I'm not going to walk away from 40 million people who have the chance to get health insurance for the first time," he said. (The Washington Post)

While Jeffrey Zients, the White House official in charge of fixing the online enrollment system, has said the site would work “smoothly” for “the vast majority of users” by the end of the month, Obama said “the majority of people who go to the site” will have a good experience.

“It is not possible for me to guarantee that 100 percent of people going on the Web site 100 percent of the time will have a seamless, smooth experience,” Obama said.

Obama described both the cancellations on the individual market and the Web site rollout as significant problems, but said the law’s implementation could still turn out well.

“These are two fumbles on a big game. But the game’s not over,” he said.

He also acknowledged that the botched launch had caused problems for his party.

“There is no doubt our failure to roll out the [Affordable Care Act] smoothly has put a burden on Democrats, whether they're running or not,” he said, noting that Democratic lawmakers had supported the law “through thick or thin.”

“So my commitment to them is we're just going to keep doing better every day until we get [the job] done,” he said.

Juliet Eilperin is a White House correspondent for The Washington Post, covering domestic and foreign policy as well as the culture of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. She is the author of two books—one on sharks, and another on Congress, not to be confused with each other—and has worked for the Post since 1998.
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Aaron Blake · November 14, 2013