Obama Addresses Widespread Health Care Website Problems - KMSP-TV

Obama Addresses Widespread Health Care Website Problems

Posted: Updated:
Washington, D.C. -

(FOX 11 / AP) President Barack Obama is acknowledging his health care law's rollout "hasn't worked as smoothly as it's supposed to work."

Obama is encouraging Americans who want to sign up for insurance under new government exchanges to keep trying. He spoke from the White House's Rose Garden.

The remarks came at Obama's first health care event since widespread problems with sign-ups online became apparent.

He blamed problems in part to an overwhelming response. He says the program doesn't depend on website and there are other ways to sign up.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

President Barack Obama is expected to acknowledge that widespread problems with his health care law's rollout are unacceptable, as the administration scrambles to fix the cascade of computer issues.

Obama was scheduled to speak Monday from the Rose Garden, his first health care-focused event since the scope of the problems became apparent. The troublesome rollout of the health care exchanges has been a glaring embarrassment for Obama's signature legislative achievement.

White House officials say the president will discuss steps the administration is taking to address the failures, including ramping up staffing at call centers where people can apply for insurance by phone. The Department of Health and Human Services says it is also bringing in technology experts from inside and outside of government to help diagnose the issues.

HHS, in a memo released Sunday, said it was also putting in place "tools and processes to aggressively monitor and identify parts of HealthCare.gov where individuals are encountering errors or having difficulty using the site, so we can prioritize and fix them."

Obama will be flanked at the Rose Garden event by people the White House says have already enrolled during the first three weeks of sign-ups. Enrollment figures are being closely guarded by the administration, which plans to release the first round of data in mid-November.

Officials did say over the weekend that nearly a half million applications have been filed through the federal- and state-run exchanges. Users must file applications before they can enroll, in part to find out whether they are eligible for government subsidies.

The White House also says about 19 million people have visited HealthCare.gov since Oct. 1.

Administration officials initially blamed a high volume of interest for the frozen screens that many people encountered. Since then, they have also acknowledged problems with software and some elements of the system's design.

Despite the widespread problems, the White House has yet to fully explain exactly what went wrong with the online system consumers were supposed to use to sign up for coverage.

In an ironic twist, the troubles with the health care rollout were overshadowed by Republican efforts to delay or defund "Obamacare" in exchange for reopening the government during the 16-day shutdown. The bill that eventually reopened the government included no substantive changes to the health care law.

With the shutdown over, GOP lawmakers were ramping up their criticism of the health care law's troubles.

"Obamacare costs too much and it's not working the way they promised," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said.

And Brendan Buck, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, said of Obama's Monday event: "A speech doesn't solve the problem."

Some Republicans are also calling for the resignation of HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. The White House says it has complete confidence in her. House Republicans have scheduled a hearing next week to look into the rollout problems.

  • PoliticsMore>>

  • Britain Raises Threat Level, Promises Tough Action To Fight Militants

    Britain Raises Threat Level, Promises Tough Action To Fight Militants

    Friday, August 29 2014 11:11 AM EDT2014-08-29 15:11:19 GMT
    Prime Minister David Cameron says he'll introduce new laws to combat terror suspects, pledging to seize passports to fight what he described as an extremist threat more dangerous than any previously seen.Cameron's remarks came just after authorities on Friday raised the terror threat level to severe, the second highest level.
    Prime Minister David Cameron says he'll introduce new laws to combat terror suspects, pledging to seize passports to fight what he described as an extremist threat more dangerous than any previously seen.Cameron's remarks came just after authorities on Friday raised the terror threat level to severe, the second highest level.
  • Obama Cautions Against Using Force To Solve Crises In Ukraine, Middle East

    Obama Cautions Against Using Force To Solve Crises In Ukraine, Middle East

    Friday, August 29 2014 10:45 AM EDT2014-08-29 14:45:40 GMT
    Faced with deepening crises in the Middle East and Ukraine, President Barack Obama is putting the brakes on the notion that American military power can solve either conflict.
    Faced with deepening crises in the Middle East and Ukraine, President Barack Obama is putting the brakes on the notion that American military power can solve either conflict.
  • A Look At The Islamic State Militants In Syria

    A Look At The Islamic State Militants In Syria

    Thursday, August 28 2014 10:24 AM EDT2014-08-28 14:24:13 GMT
    As the U.S. strikes Islamic State targets in Iraq, extremists belonging to the same militant group across the border in Syria are capturing new territory and becoming bolder by the day.
    As the U.S. strikes Islamic State targets in Iraq, extremists belonging to the same militant group across the border in Syria are capturing new territory and becoming bolder by the day.
Powered by WorldNow

KMSP-TV
11358 Viking Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

Phone: (952) 944-9999
Fax: (952) 942-0455

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices