News / USA

Obama Announces Fix for 'Fumbled' Health Care Implementation

Obama Announces Fix for 'Fumbled' Health Care Implementationi
X
November 15, 2013 6:54 AM
Moving to avert still more political damage from what he acknowledges was a "fumbled" implementation of his health care law, President Barack Obama on Thursday announced a fix to allow Americans to keep existing policies for one year.

Obama Announces Fix for 'Fumbled' Health Care Implementation

Moving to avert still more political damage from what he acknowledges was a "fumbled" implementation of his health care law, President Barack Obama on Thursday announced a fix to allow Americans to keep existing policies for one year.  

Obama's decision came amid mounting political fallout from the flawed federal government website that Americans use, along with online state insurance marketplaces, to enroll in plans under Obamacare.

Just over 106,000 people enrolled since November 1, far below what the administration had hoped.

Obama acknowledged the frustration of Americans, potentially numbering in the millions, who received cancellation notices for policies that did not meet Obamacare standards.  

"I think it is legitimate for them to expect me to have to win back some credibility on this health care law in particular and on a whole range of these issues in general.  That's on me.  We fumbled the rollout on this health care law," said President Obama.

The administrative fix announced by Obama would let insurers renew for one year health plans that were canceled because of the implementation of Obamacare.

Companies could offer plans next year that do not meet minimum requirements but would have to inform applicants how these are deficient and what alternatives are available.

Obama said it would be up to insurance commissioners in individual U.S. states to allow the fix to proceed, saying Obamacare would not "get in the way" of companies implementing the change.

With Obama already facing the lowest public approval ratings of his presidency, there are new signs of political damage, as Americans raise questions about administration competence.  

A Gallup poll showed 55 percent of respondents disapproving of Obamacare.  Previous surveys showed Americans generally divided on the law, though leaning toward disapproval.

Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner says poor enrollment numbers show that Obama's health care law has failed and should be scrapped.

"When it comes to this health care law, the White House does not have much credibility.  Let's be clear, the only way to fully protect the American people is to scrap this law once and for all.  There is no way to fix this," said Boehner.

Republicans controlling the House plan on Friday to bring to a vote their own fix. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says the Republican measure would endanger Obamacare.

"It undermines the Affordable Care Act," said Pelosi.

President Obama also acknowledged potential damage for Democratic congressional candidates in next year's mid-term elections.

"There is no doubt that our failure to roll out the Affordable Care Act smoothly has put a burden on Democrats, whether they are running or not, because they stood up and supported this effort through thick and thin," said Obama.

Obama says he feels "personally responsible" for making the job of Democrats harder.  But he said people should not lose sight of the fact that before Obamacare, the U.S. health care system status quo was "not working at all."

He again criticized Republicans for failing to provide an alternative either to the existing health insurance system or to Obamacare, which was designed to provide affordable coverage for some 40 million Americans who lacked insurance.

You May Like

Photogallery Pistorius Sentenced, Taken to Prison

Pistorius, convicted of culpable homicide in shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, will likely serve about 10 months of five-year sentence, before completing it under house arrest More

UN to Aid Central Africa in Polio Vaccinations

Synchronized vaccinations will be conducted after Cameroon reports a fifth case of the wild polio virus in its territory More

WHO: Ebola Vaccine Could Be in Use by January

WHO assistant director Dr. Marie Paule Kieny says clinical trials of Ebola vaccines are underway or planned in Europe, US and Africa More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid