President: ‘Screwed Up’ Healthcare.gov But Notes ‘More Than A Million’ New Insured
News outlets highlighted health care aspects of President Barack Obama's news conference.
NPR: Obama On Health Care Rollout: 'We Screwed It Up'
Asked later what his biggest mistake of the year was, he said: "When it came to the health care rollout, even though I was meeting every other week or every three weeks emphazing that consumers have a good experience ... the fact is that it didn't happen in the first month, six weeks, as it should have, was not good. "I'm in charge, we screwed it up," he said. He said despite the technical problems with the website and "about as bad a bunch of publicity that you can imagine," many people have still signed up, proving "the demand is there and the product is good" (Neuman, 12/20).
Politico: Obama: More Than A Million New Insured In December
More than one million Americans signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act during the first three weeks of December, including 500,000 through the federal exchange, President Barack Obama announced Friday. The president mentioned the numbers during the opening remarks of his year-end press conference at the White House, and pointed to them as evidence that despite early problems with HealthCare.gov, the process of implementing the health care law is now going more smoothly (Epstein, 12/20).
The Washington Post: Running Transcript: President Obama’s December 20 News Conference
[President Obama:] "Since October 1st, more than 1 million Americans have selected new health insurance plans through the federal and state marketplaces, so all told, millions of Americans, despite the problems with the website, are now poised to be covered by quality affordable health insurance come New Year’s Day. Now, this holiday season there are mothers and fathers and entrepreneurs and workers who have something new to celebrate: the security of knowing that when the unexpected or misfortune strikes, hardship no longer has to" (12/20).
The Associated Press: Obama Sees Surging Health Care Sign-Ups
Separately, officials said 3.9 million people have qualified for government health care through the law's Medicaid expansion. Even so, it's too early to say that the health care rollout has turned the corner. HealthCare.gov was down for part of the day Friday, as technicians attempted to fix an error that occurred Thursday night when the site was undergoing routine maintenance, officials explained. The administration cannot afford for the balky website to crash this weekend. Because of a deadline to sign up by Monday so coverage can take effect Jan. 1, unusually heavy traffic is expected on the federal site and those run by states (Alonso-Zaldivar and Pace, 12/20).
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