President Obama apologized Thursday night to Americans who are losing their health-insurance plans because of his signature health care reform law.
In an interview with NBC Nightly News, Obama acknowledged he had repeatedly said that no Americans would have to give up a health care plan they liked because of the new law. “I am sorry that they are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me,” the President told NBC’s Chuck Todd. “We’ve got to work hard to make sure that they know we hear them, and we are going to do everything we can to deal with folks who find themselves in a tough position as a consequence of this.”
The approximately 5% of Americans who buy their own insurance are at risk of being kicked off their plans, regardless of their preference, because their plans don’t meet the standards of the Affordable Care Act.
The President also addressed the repeated problems plaguing the enrollment website. “I am deeply frustrated about how this website has not worked over the last couple of weeks,” he said, but insisted, “It’s better now than it was last week, and it’s certainly a lot better now than it was Oct. 1.”
When asked about whether he faulted Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius for the website’s problems, he defended her efforts. “Kathleen Sebelius doesn’t write code, she wasn’t the IT person,” he said. “Ultimately, the buck stops with me. I’m the President, this is my team, if it’s not working, we’re gonna fix it.”