October 30th, 2013
06:28 PM ET
12 months ago

Obama takes "full responsibility" for fixing HealthCare.gov

BOSTON (CNN) – President Barack Obama acknowledged Wednesday the national health care law's new website was "too slow" and too many people "have gotten stuck" in it.

"I'm not happy about it and neither are a lot of Americans who need health care," he said at a Boston rally to tout and defend the Affordable Care Act, which is the signature domestic achievement of his presidency.

The President talked about the miserable start up of HealthCare.Gov, which went online October 1.

"There is no excuse for it and I take full responsibility for making sure it gets fixed ASAP. We are working overtime to improve it every day," Obama said.

The President delivered his address at Boston's Faneuil Hall, the Colonial-era meeting house where then-Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney signed into law a sweeping health plan.

The President says that Obamacare was modeled on the Massachusetts law.

"This is the hall where seven years ago Democrats and Republicans came together to make health reform a reality for the people of Massachusetts. It's where then Gov. Mitt Romney, Democratic legislators, Sen. Ted Kennedy, many of the folks here today joined forces to connect the progressive vision of health care for all with some ideas about markets and competition that had long been shared by conservatives," said Obama.

The President compared the current extremely rough start up for the health care exchanges in the national law to what happened in the Bay State, saying that health care reform in Massachusetts was a success despite "early problems" and "changes that had to be made."

He added that negative predictions from government coverage "didn't come true."

And Obama challenged Republican opponents of Obamacare to come up with helpful ideas for health care instead of undermining the federal law.

"Anyone defending the old broken system" or lacking any plan to help uninsured or underinsured Americans get coverage "should have to explain themselves," he said.

Hours before Obama's event, Romney criticized the national health care law.

In a statement, Romney revived a line he used quite often on the campaign trail in opposing Obama in last year's presidential election.

"In the years since the Massachusetts health care law went into effect, nothing has changed my view that a plan crafted to fit the unique circumstances of a single state should not be grafted onto the entire country," Romney said.

"Beyond that, had President Obama actually learned the lessons of Massachusetts health care, millions of Americans would not lose the insurance they were promised they could keep, millions more would not see their premiums skyrocket, and the installation of the program would not have been a frustrating embarrassment," Romney said.

"Health reform is best crafted by states with bipartisan support and input from its employers, as we did, without raising taxes, and by carefully phasing it in to avoid the type of disruptions we are seeing nationally," he said.

Romney was not at the President's address.

David Simas, a senior White House strategy and communications official, told reporters this week that regarding the President's Wednesday speech, "No, there's no outreach to Governor Romney."

A source close to the former governor told CNN that Romney was not invited to the event.

Prior to the address, a former Romney campaign adviser and spokesman had low expectations for the President's speech.

"Unless he stands up in Faneuil Hall and unveils a revamped, working website and admits he misled the country about how their insurance policies would be affected, it will be just another Obama speech. One full of empty promises, self-serving rhetoric and intellectual dishonesty," said Kevin Madden, a Republican strategist and CNN contributor.

Stuart Stevens, a former top adviser to Romney's 2012 campaign, compared news coverage of Obamacare to news coverage of the Vietnam War in the 1960's and 1970's, which started out non-controversial before becoming extremely critical of U.S. efforts.

"This coverage is so much like the coverage of Vietnam. It was all great for so long until reporters really got on the ground and saw the reality," Stevens told CNN.

– CNN's Kevin Liptak contributed to this story.


Filed under: Health care • Obamacare • President Obama
soundoff (277 Responses)
  1. Me

    Awwwww... Our president isn't happy. Well we're not happy with you just the same Mr. President so get over it.

    October 30, 2013 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  2. Steve Wolff

    This nightmare has to end! Time to have a revolt!

    October 30, 2013 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  3. Tom Wolf

    How much is all this costing us to "FIX"? The "specialists" working "around the clock" aren't working for free. We know how much money was wasted on the garbage site, now how much money is being spent on fixing it?

    October 30, 2013 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  4. Fred Flintstone

    Shop around if you lost your current policy... wow!, that's a mouthful, and it's because of your idiotic healthcare plan that will do nothing but bankrupt us.... get out of office obama, you're nothing but a failure and we do not want you there any longer.

    October 30, 2013 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  5. ConcernedInMissouri

    I don't think I've ever thought this of someone that is supposed to be in charge of our country regardless of political party. All I can say is "WHAT AN IDIOT"! Looking at the options available in the state of Missouri is a joke. By the time I finally got logged into the marketplace... several attempts, phone calls and a chat required, the actual insurance policies were such a let down. NOTHING is covered before you hit the deductible... the deductibles range between $6k and $12k a month. That's after you were expected to pay between $600-$1200 a month for family coverage. The policies that at least covered generic prescriptions were more than $1000 monthly. How rediculous is that!!! You can't shop around for coverage because there is simply not anything available. Insurance companies know that they don't have to provide decent coverage now because we've been forced into this terrible coverage option! Obamacare is going to break the backs of small business owners and individual taxpayers. This is NOT a step forward and will actually force many into the uninsured category!!!

    October 30, 2013 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  6. Iisa.

    Do the repubs really care about the American people or are the just catering to thier lobbyist. What options have they presented????? Please tell me.

    It is easy to criticize than to innovate. And why are these insurance companies dumping thier people on the public plans if it is so bad? As usual their goal is to undermine obama no matter what he does. Shame on you.

    October 30, 2013 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  7. Bob

    He better get the thing fixed because I want to see if I can get a better insurance policy!!!!!

    October 30, 2013 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  8. Chris Currens

    This reminds me of the 'O' ring problem on the space shuttle, and we all know how that turned out..... Get a new program going unlike any before it, then realize there are inherent problems, and know that some of these problems could be catastrophic; ignore or skim over the issue and deflect any warnings and dismiss them as agenda driven, then... BOOM! it all goes up in smoke, blown to hell and back. Great job Obama...

    October 30, 2013 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  9. gdolsen

    I think it would be a great time for people to keep everything in perspective. So we are delayed a month and a few elements of access shift...does anyone stop to think about the amazing healthcare we have available to us? Keep and even keel folks.

    October 30, 2013 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  10. ConcernedIndependent

    "Obama says he'll get website fixed ASAP"

    But nobody believes a word he says anymore, after his "Keep your Plan. Period." lies to the American people.

    October 30, 2013 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  11. toreropalido

    The website will be fixed. The GOP will continue to implode. Can't fix stupid.

    October 30, 2013 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  12. me

    Not since the last Kardashian wedding has so much coverage been spent on something of so little of interest to so few for so long.

    October 30, 2013 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  13. liberal disease

    too late your ineptness has been exposed to the world, even the media cannot cover for you this time…Where's Biden??

    October 30, 2013 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  14. Iisa.

    People are really dumb or plain stupid. Some of you think that the ACA is for minorities and immigrants only or some kind of welfare.

    Guess what. I am physician in Texas and 80 percent of the Caucasian people that come in do. It have insurance. But somehow they still want and demand full treatment. Is this also not welfare??

    October 30, 2013 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  15. liberal disease

    Obama is mad, now things will get done!!!

    October 30, 2013 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  16. Fantastic

    America is a mess right now. Obama has utterly failed, he should be embarrassed.

    October 30, 2013 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  17. Kelly

    Blah blah blah

    – president Obama

    October 30, 2013 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  18. HenryMiller

    "President says he's 'not happy'"

    Well, I'm not happy either. So let's kill off Obamacare and solve both our problems.

    October 30, 2013 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  19. Harold Richards

    Day 30: website still down

    October 30, 2013 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  20. Jetranger

    They have this so messed up i'm NOT even intersteaded in Obamacare, if this were a car insurance company I drop them like Rock ! I can only imagine the next Fiasco, when they LOSE evereybodys information from the web site and everybody has to Re-Enroll, to or 3 times, that'll be next !

    October 30, 2013 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  21. zachlogan19

    Like he close Gitmo ASAP?

    October 30, 2013 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  22. ROB

    Can't help but wonder if he is taking responsibility for lying to Americans about keeping their insurance as 100's of thousands are getting cancellation notices

    October 30, 2013 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  23. cfd

    Now he's blaming it on Romney, what a zipper head

    October 30, 2013 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  24. Ant

    When will he take responsibility for its failure . It is his dream crashing and burning here ....

    October 30, 2013 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  25. Barry Obiden

    WOW! I almost collapsed and needed obozocare! A democrat owning a problem. I think I will ship my pants.

    October 30, 2013 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
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