President Obama sought to reassure supporters on Friday evening that the fight to stand up his health-care law would succeed, while also trying to enlist their help in spreading word about the importance of signing up Americans for the Affordable Care Act.
In a conference call with thousands of supporters hosted by Organizing for Action, Obama said the problems with Healthcare.gov have led to “misinformation” about the health-care law, although he did not offer specific examples.
“Frankly, there have been problems with the Web site that have created and fed this misinformation,” Obama told what OFA said was an audience of more than 200,000 supporters. OFA was created out of the remains of Obama’s 2012 campaign in the hopes of advancing the president’s agenda.
Obama is experiencing one of the biggest crises of his presidency as his administration struggles to implement the health-care law. In his remarks, the president said he and his supporters knew it would be a difficult process and lashed out at Republicans for refusing to help make sure the law prospers.
“We knew it was going to be hard because change is hard, and there are a lot of vested interests,” the president said. “And obviously we haven’t gotten a lot of cooperation from the other party.”
Still, Obama said, he wouldn’t stop working to ensuring the law succeeds. “I’ve got one more campaign in me, and that’s making sure this law works,” he said.
The president told his supporters that his main message was that he needs their help in reminding people to sign up for health care through the law – whether on the Web site or through other venues.
“This law is going to be one that lasts for generations to come,” he said. “And people will see why we fought so hard to do it.”
In an effort to provide reassurance to his supporters, Obama cast last week’s news that just over 100,000 people successfully signed up for the Affordable Care Act as a victory, noting that 400,000 other people obtained Medicaid coverage and many more expressed interest.
But he acknowledged that not only was the Web site a problem, but "it turns out that purchasing insurance for a lot of folks is complicated.” He added, “it’s a little scary going out and shopping for your own.”
The president said he is confident that, by the end of the month, HealthCare.gov would be working for the vast majority of Americans, which the administration has defined as 80 percent of those seeking to sign up. “In fact, eventually, it’s going to be the easiest place to shop for healthcare.”