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. Scott

    Narcissistic personality disorder is characterized by dramatic, emotional behavior, which is in the same category as antisocial and borderline personality disorders.

    Narcissistic personality disorder symptoms may include:
    Believing that you're better than others
    Fantasizing about power, success and attractiveness
    Exaggerating your achievements or talents
    Expecting constant praise and admiration
    Believing that you're special and acting accordingly
    Failing to recognize other people's emotions and feelings
    Expecting others to go along with your ideas and plans
    Taking advantage of others
    Expressing disdain for those you feel are inferior
    Being jealous of others
    Believing that others are jealous of you
    Trouble keeping healthy relationships
    Setting unrealistic goals
    Being easily hurt and rejected
    Having a fragile self-esteem
    Appearing as tough-minded or unemotional

    Although some features of narcissistic personality disorder may seem like having confidence or strong self-esteem, it's not the same. Narcissistic personality disorder crosses the border of healthy confidence and self-esteem into thinking so highly of yourself that you put yourself on a pedestal. In contrast, people who have healthy confidence and self-esteem don't value themselves more than they value others.

    October 30, 2013 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  2. dnokc

    He takes full responsibility? It's been almost 5 years, don't you think it's about time? Problem is, now the country knows he's a habitual liar. Therefore exactly what does he mean when he says he takes full responsibility?

    October 30, 2013 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  3. Name

    What's sad is that still tax payers are the one who will continue to pay for mistakes of government officials while still having crappy insurance with high deductibles. As a member of the middle class who has worked and never been on public assistance it sure is tempting to throw in the towel and let the gubment support me. Free health coverage food housing childcare hell what would make one want to work and do better?

    October 30, 2013 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    I'm embarrassed for him.

    October 30, 2013 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  5. Dan

    Full responsibility? . . . 125 TRILLION Dollars UNFUNDED Liabilities, and growing. . . 17 TRILLION Dollars National DEBT, and growing. . . 7 TRILLION Dollars Trade DEFICIT, and growing. . . 1 of 6 Americans on Food Stamps, and growing. . . more part-time workers than full-time workers. . . a President without LEADERSHIP Skills. . . a DYSFUNCTIONAL Congress. . . for starters. . .

    October 30, 2013 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  6. mp

    This artical explains how obama takes full responsibility about fixing every problem the people are having to register for obamacare

    Mp

    October 30, 2013 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  7. notfooledagain

    If he was lying about keeping our insurance, how can we trust what he is saying now? The only bad apple I see is B0.

    October 30, 2013 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  8. American Worker

    So President Obama is going to build that?

    October 30, 2013 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  9. John Lee

    If Obama is taking full responsibility, why is CNN also reporting that insurance executives are being silenced by the administration for fear of hurting relations with their now biggest customer?

    October 30, 2013 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  10. S~

    So, everybody is sorry and willing take full "responsibility"....whatever that means.
    But nobody's been fired or fined....or whatever.

    If Obama was a republican,the media and liberals, and the leftists, would be asking for his head.

    October 31, 2013 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  11. Russel

    I am so ashamed that I voted for this "Liar In Chief". I'm sorry America. I promise that I will not let my emotions lead me the next time I vote.

    October 31, 2013 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  12. Getoverit

    “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.
    -------
    Nicely worded, Mr. President. How about taking responsibility for the failure in the first place?

    October 31, 2013 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  13. loadmaster3

    Since Governor Romney just re-schooled Mr. Obama on the blame-game. It must still be Bush's fault after 5 years.

    October 31, 2013 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  14. nissim levy

    If Obama is the one who will fix this then I hope his web development skills are up to par.

    October 31, 2013 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  15. Mike v

    What does it even mean? So far, he did not take full responsibility? And in future, he will keep on blaming everybody until site is not fixed and then he will take full credit once site is fixed?

    October 31, 2013 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  16. Lela

    Yada yada yada, we all know what "we" means. What Mr. President is really saying is that he will not do anything, but rather direct all of his workers to do what he tells them. Manager 101

    October 31, 2013 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  17. Cnederbr

    Owebama, we don't want you to fix Owebamacare, we need to demolish it. It's an unmitigated disaster! You should resign as any honorable CEO would when his disastrous plan leads to failure. The USA Is a corporation.

    October 31, 2013 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  18. Behjat

    Planing and executing a monumental task for the entire country without any problem is impossible. Instead of offering practical and helpful suggestions, everybody is ready to crucify Obama. Perfect opportunity for republicans and tea party members to magnify things that are wrong with affordable care, and people like sheep are following them. I'm disappointed on supporters of Obama for not standing up for him, so much for your loyalties. Updating the technology program in our small office has taken months of monitoring and adjusting, not to mention the expense. And that is without so many people bad mouthing, name calling and campaigning against it.

    October 31, 2013 01:37 am at 1:37 am |
  19. PharmGrl

    The American electorate is getting it's first sight of what was hiding in Nancy's bill, and they already see that its the biggest Bait and Switch in the history if the planet. It's down hill from here.
    Democrats cynical attempt to sneak single payer in the back door is going to back fire.
    They grossly underestimated opposition three years out, have NO viable plan to survive the Death Spiral of private insurance, with skyrocketing premiums intended to make us scream for single payer.
    It's hard to see Obamacare coming back from this Mother of All PR Fiascos.
    I predict GOP Senate, bipartisan overhaul of this junker bill.
    That's the ONLY way Obamacare can achieve the political legitimacy it must have for success.

    October 31, 2013 01:37 am at 1:37 am |
  20. Marcus Wel

    If Obama is taking full responsibility for HealthCare_gov, I assume that he will be paying for everyone who is a victum of identity theft due to the website vulnerabilities.

    October 31, 2013 01:39 am at 1:39 am |
  21. HistoryRepeats

    If it's broken it's someone else's fault. When it's fixed he did it.

    October 31, 2013 01:49 am at 1:49 am |
  22. Michael Benjamin

    The issue is Obama not accepting blame for messing up the roll out of Healthcare.gov.

    October 31, 2013 01:50 am at 1:50 am |
  23. bestionkdooley1

    Does he also take responsibility for repeatedly telling the lie that anyone happy with his current health insurance plan would be allowed to keep it? I can not believe he has not been publicly asked about this.

    October 31, 2013 01:50 am at 1:50 am |
  24. B. Roy

    ""There is no excuse for it and I take full responsibility for making sure it gets fixed ASAP." Reminds me of what he said about the IRS targeting conservative folks. He got right to the bottom of that, didn't he?? This President is all talk and no action when it comes to investigating the multiple screwups in his administration.

    October 31, 2013 03:31 am at 3:31 am |
  25. Name

    Glad to see he beat Romney; only to return to Massachusetts and jack Romneycare on a national level as his great feat.

    October 31, 2013 04:18 am at 4:18 am |
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