President Obama acknowledged the problems with the rollout of the Affordable Care Act and said he’s working to fix them–while the GOP, he said, is “invested in failure.”
The commander-in-chief spoke about the lessons he’s learned to the CEO Council annual meeting hosted by the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday.
Obama acknowledged that rollout of the new health-care marketplaces was “rough–to say the least.” He also said that his team “underestimated the complexities” of building HealthCare.gov, and that it would have been better to fix the site’s glitches “on the front end rather than the back end.”
The president, however, blamed Republicans for contributing to the website’s mess, pointing out the law passed on a partisan basis after Democrats “had to fight tooth and nail to get it passed.” Obama said there was a “price to that.”
“We should have anticipated that that would create a rockier rollout…One of the problems we’ve had is one side of Capitol Hill is invested in failure,” said the president.
Obama’s remarks come as polls show the president’s approval ratings hitting new lows following the debut of the glitch-filled HealthCare.gov.
Last week, Obama announced a fix to the ACA that would allow Americans keep their insurance plans for one year if they choose to. Obama made a significant (and avoidable) mistake by repeatedly promising Americans that if they liked their plans, they could keep them.
Republicans, however, saw Obama’s mea culpa as opportunity –one more chance to derail the commander-in-chief’s signature piece of legislation.
Meanwhile, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius –who has faced calls to resign –was in Orlando on Tuesday doing damage control.
“I am confident we are on track to have a very different consumer experience. We know it is happening right now. We know every day people are successfully using HealthCare.Gov,” she said at Florida Technical College.
The insurance marketplace is expected to be fixed at the end of the month, though there are reports that it may be delayed even further.