President Obama conceded on Oct. 21 that the website at the center of the health care law has been a mess but insisted that the law continues to benefit many people.
Obama said "nobody is madder than me" about the snafus that have left people unable to finish finding insurance on healthcare.gov since it opened on Oct. 1. "There's no excuse for the problems," he said, "and they are being fixed." He said the government is "doing everything we can possibly do" to repair the site, including having "some of the best IT talent in the country" work 24/7.
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Obama spoke in the White House Rose Garden after being introduced by Janice Baker, who described herself as "too young for Medicare, but I'm too old not to have some health issues." Baker, like millions of other Americans, ran into trouble with the online marketplace. But she persevered, and thanks to the health care law, found a plan because insurance companies couldn't reject her based on preexisting medical conditions.
Obama, too, cautioned not to lose sight of the parts of the law that are working: "The product is good. The health insurance that's being provided is good. It's high quality, and it's affordable. People can save money, significant money, by getting insurance that's being provided through these marketplaces. And we know that the demand is there. People are rushing to see what's available. And those who have already had a chance to enroll are thrilled with the result."
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Obama's other advice: If healthcare.gov gives you trouble, apply for coverage by calling 800-318-2596.
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