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Larry Summers: Health care website will not make history books

The country must move forward in support of the new health care law and appreciate President Obama's move toward universal coverage, Larry Summers said.
In this Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013 photo, a computer screen shows a website run by the federal government where people can enroll for health care exchanges, at a community meeting in Miami Gardens, Fla.

Managing an information technology project is difficult, and the undertaking usually goes wrong in the private sector, former Secretary of the Treasury Larry Summers said on Wednesday's Morning Joe.

Problems with the health care website will not be remembered in history books 25 years from now, he said. But President Obama's action to join the realm of other industrialized countries in having universal health coverage will be printed.

"This exchange is a huge deal and it needs to be set right. But it is one part and only one part of the approach," said Summers, who is also the former director of the National Economic Council.

Out of all the various options for the country to reach universal health insurance, the president chose the one that was most oriented to preserving the status quo for people who liked it, he added. The country now needs to focus on the positive aspects, such as the reality that millions of Americans now have access to insurance plans during a time of economic insecurity.

"Now the patriotic place to be is in support of implementing it," he said. "Then we should watch and see what happens and make whatever decisions we can from that."

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