glitches at center of weekly addresses
October 26th, 2013
11:24 AM ET
9 years ago glitches at center of weekly addresses

(CNN) – The chairman of the committee that heard hours of testimony this week over glitches in the website put Obamacare on the chopping block in the GOP weekly address released Saturday.

“At a time when we can do everything from ordering a pizza, flowers or airline tickets, or banking and paying bills, they expect the same reliable service from – and it’s still not ready for primetime,” Rep. Fred Upton, R-Michigan, said.

Contractors told members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Thursday that the government was to blame for the problem-plagued software that has barred many Americans from signing up for insurance plans through the online exchanges. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will testify before the committee on Wednesday.

The White House and administration officials say the enrollment problems are being fixed, with almost 700,000 applications submitted online on either the federal or state websites.

Expressing frustration over the technical issues, President Barack Obama defended the law in his weekly address, noting that the site has been visited more than 20 million times since its launch on October 1.

“I’d still be out there championing this law even if the website were perfect,” the president said.

“That’s why it’s also interesting to see Republicans in Congress expressing so much concern that people are having trouble buying health insurance through the new website, especially considering they’ve spent the last few years so obsessed with denying those same people access to health insurance that they just shut down the government and threatened default over it.”
Obama continued: “We did not fight so hard for this reform for so many years just to build a website.”

But Upton insists the broken website is only the beginning of the issues with the law. “How can the administration punish innocent Americans by forcing them to buy a product many cannot afford, from a system that does not work?”

Delays and incorrect information relayed to insurance companies has sparked intense criticism from Republicans over the Affordable Care Act’s implementation. House Republicans earlier this month tried without success to tie defunding or delaying the law to legislation funding the government.

Filed under: Healthcare
soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. A True Conservative

    Thank you for the affordable care Mr. President! My health insurance through my company has just increased in price. My deductables have increased significantly as has my maximum out of pocket. In fact, the plan that I have selected from my companies "exchange" for years is no longer available to me. Nor is the prescription plan that I bought into for years. I can't tell you how motivated I now am to continue to work and contribute to the federal government money that I have earned trhough my labor. Perhaps it's time for me to reconsider things and jump on the bandwagon – perhaps it's time for me to begin to take and stop contributing.

    October 26, 2013 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  2. Tampa Tim

    I really think right wingnuts should stop blaming the president for their premiums going up. In Florida, our governor and legislature gave insurance companies a blank check to raise premiums as much as they want. Then they did everything they could to discourage information about ACA getting out. I am confident the other red wingnut state governors acted in a similar manner.

    October 26, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  3. Tampa Tim

    True – Which red state do you live in?

    October 26, 2013 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  4. Gurgyl

    Fire all federal contractors, use programmers directly. They do fix this problem. We have wonderful h1-b visa programmers from India, now in USA. Hire them. They do excellent job.

    October 26, 2013 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  5. The DIRTY HIDDEN TRUTH about Obamacare

    The health insurance my company offers went up over 19% from last year. Where is the savings this lying POS President promised? And this increase was peanuts compared to what others are reporting. I guess I should be happy it hasn't been cancelled all together like millions and millions of others health care coverage.

    And we are all just starting to experience the Obamacare train wreck. This whole scam by Obama and the Democrats was NEVER about saving Americans money on their healthcare. Obamacare is the biggest FRAUD ever perpetrated on the American people. Remember this in the voting booth in 2014 & 2016America.

    October 26, 2013 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  6. the hippies were right

    @A True Conservative, Sorry to hear you work for such a greedy employer. I'm sure when you took the job, one of the factors in accepting the job was the benefits packaged offered to you. It's a shame your company has reneged on that offer and has basically cut your pay. If your company is blaming this increase on "Obamacare" you might want to look into that, because your company or any company hasn't been forced to make any changes at this time. Also, remember your taxes have contributed to two wars and a $24 billion dollar (Ted Cruz) shutdown just to name a few. Good luck with that greedy employer, hope they don't hold back any other compensation and blame it on our dictator.

    October 26, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  7. Harold Richards

    Website several million dollars over budget... Glitches
    Website not ready on October 1st... Glitches
    Website is 26 days old and still having major technical difficulties... Glitches
    Website requires several million to repair... Glitches
    Canadian consulting company laughing all the way to the bank... Glitches
    Insurance companies cracking open bottles of champaign in celebration of their economic windfall... Glitches

    October 26, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  8. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ conservatives,the garbage of America.

    Does anybody really listen to these GOP fools anymore????when they were discussing the oil companies subsidies ,one of the GOP brai dead idiots said , 40 billion wouldn't make a difference to the defict and you can add on the 24 billion the GOP idiots just lost last week in the goverment shutdown ,add that together and it comes to 64 billion dallars for the fiscal conservative GOP morons. Vote this GOP garbage of America out in 2014 midterms and get some sane dems in the house of reps

    October 26, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  9. jvierra

    The site will be fixed. We will only ever know if ACA works if we can actually get people using it. I believe it will be an improvement and that it can improved even more over time.

    Those apposed to health care reform are not well informed about the state of health care in America. CNN should prepare a number of specials that will provide easy and basic backgrounders covering the facts as they are now. These can be a good staging ground for future specials tracking the ACA.

    This is important enough to warrant a full weekly show of its own.

    October 26, 2013 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  10. sifto

    Obama and Kathleen are both laughing at all hard-working Americans–forcing us to pay for those that choose not to work..what a joke ! How can the MSM be so blind as not to have seen through them?

    October 26, 2013 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  11. Data Driven

    I'm beginning to feel a little sorry for the people featured in photographs on the site (why all women, by the way?) - these two Chinese ladies, that sorta cute brunette on the main page ...

    Millions of maddened conservatives probably blame them for making them spend as much time on healthcare dot gov as they do on a call with their cell-phone service provider. Oh the exquisite tragedy!

    October 26, 2013 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  12. anotherGDlefty

    Dear GOTP folks, what solutions are you presenting to fix anything, let alone a website?
    Hearings, hearings, hearings.
    Great, have your hearings but what is your American ingenuity teling you today besides quit and go back?
    You're in the water and cannot get out, are you going to sink or swim?
    Americans used to swim, not whine about how cold the water was.
    Am I right on that veterens? Did you whine or get it done?

    October 26, 2013 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  13. holam

    No true conservative, that's what they want , to destroy the insurance companies and they are almost there. We just have to hope that the conservatives will show up at the next election and get these people out of office.

    October 26, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  14. jvierra

    Third time – still no comment posted. Why?

    October 26, 2013 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  15. jvierra

    Fourth time – still no comment visible.

    October 26, 2013 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  16. rs

    The GOP can rant and rave all they want about a web site. It doesn't change one thing about the ACA- and it certainly doesn't make the vast majority of Americans who reject the GOP's radicalism that just a week or two ago, they committed an act of treason in trying to bring down the government.
    Face it GOP you blew a ton of taxpayer dollars, and you blew the credibility. Nothing you say now matters.

    October 26, 2013 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  17. rs

    A True Conservative
    Thank you for the affordable care Mr. President! My health insurance through my company has just increased in price. My deductables have increased significantly as has my maximum out of pocket. In fact, the plan that I have selected from my companies "exchange" for years is no longer available to me.
    Oh, brainless one- that is your HR department that took away your choices, not the ACA. If the GOP had had its way a couple of weeks ago you probably wouldn't even have a job now.

    October 26, 2013 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  18. nintex

    If the Affordable Care Act were the disaster Ted Cruz predicts (and it really hasn't even gone into effect yet), then no one – absolutely no one – would be trying to sign up for it. People would be running away from it at top speed – right? Let's give it a chance to get up and going, and when people see how well it's working and are happy with it, then we'll get back to Cruz and listen to his bull caca.

    October 26, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  19. Catmandew

    Obama is a joke. He's known for the better part of 3 years that the Republicans could do just what they did and with no foresight whatsoever just continued ramming this BS law down everyone's throat. If he had done his job and made sure budgets had gotten passed and everything was on the up & up. The shutdown never would have happened! As long as Obama keeps trying to fund our government from CR to CR it can and will happen again. I don't believe it's a good law it eliminated my healthcare plan and all ACA option plans have 300% higher deductibles and higher co insurance cost also for a 35% higher premium. For a lot of coverage I don't need and never will!

    October 26, 2013 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  20. Mike in Texas

    My wife and I both can obtain health insurance from our employers. My wife's Medical Premiums are unchanged from last year. The dental and vision went up around 15 to 20 CENTS only per pay period. So basically it will cost us maybe $10 extra to have the same exact coverage as last year. I'll find out what my company's amounts are this week. So to True Conservative and the Dirty Truth About Obamacare, why don't you look at your company and not the ACA law. Seems like they are trying to use the law to screw you under.

    October 26, 2013 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  21. Catmandew

    The democrats are the treasonous ones here. Funding our government from continuing resolution to continuing resolution. Never passing a budget, never voting on laws in the senate they don't like. Turning a blind eye to common sense. If you want to run our government the way the Dems are don't complain when others that want a budget and some rhyme or reason to expenditures say fine we'll just shut it down. The website stinks and is more proof that Obama is a poor racist excuse for a leader poor execution of policies and really poor follow thru. Except on the golf course anyways!

    October 26, 2013 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  22. Fair is fair

    Obamadontcare! Solution = the real affordable care was what we had! This guy makes bush look like a genius!

    October 26, 2013 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  23. Hal

    Where are the Obamacare enrollment rates?

    October 26, 2013 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  24. Hector Slagg

    Aw, Well,
    Someone said, IF YOU THINK HEALTH CARE IS EXPENSIVE NOW. JUST WAIT UNTIL IT'S FREE. It appears most are signing up for Medicaid because they don't have the chips to pay. So guess who get's the Bill? Sam people that always got the bill. The real Taxpayers. With Obama Care killing jobs and not enough real taxpayers paying taxes the Liberal's want to raise the National Debt. Guess who will pay that bill. So you want to know what the Republican Solution is? What it has always been. Get an education, get a job and provide for yourself. That's the way the country become great. Try it, you will like it.

    October 26, 2013 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  25. Catmandew

    The lib mantra! It's always a greedy employer or insurance company or anybody else you don't likes fault. You do know companies are in business to make a profit and they in turn employ people and everyone pays taxes and then our leaders are supposed to pass budgets and make reasonable decisions for the American people! Well maybe not quite like that cause then you'd have to excuse present leadership by the democrats!

    October 26, 2013 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
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