News / USA

Obama's Efforts to Fix Health Care Draws Mixed Reviews

President Barack Obama makes a statement before the start of a meeting with representatives of health insurance companies, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, in Washington, Nov. 15, 2013.
President Barack Obama makes a statement before the start of a meeting with representatives of health insurance companies, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, in Washington, Nov. 15, 2013.
Pamela Dockins
U.S. President Barack Obama is taking steps to correct problems that have plagued his health care reform program since its launch in October. There is debate over whether the president has made enough changes to the program to quell discontent.

The Obama administration says it is working to fix problems with the government's health care website.

Many Americans have been frustrated by the site's technical glitches, which have prevented them from buying health insurance.

This past week, Obama offered a fix to another problem that is causing some Americans to lose their health care policies under his new program. The president said insurance companies could now give these people the option of keeping their old plans for an extra year.

"Now this fix won't solve every problem for every person but it is going to help a lot of people," said the president.

Michael Consedine, the insurance commissioner of Pennsylvania and secretary-treasurer of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, said the president's fix could wind up causing confusion. "That fix is a very temporary one and may ultimately cause far greater harm to the insurance marketplace in allowing different products and different policies to continue in a marketplace where we thought there would be a lot more uniformity."

On Friday, the Republican-majority House of Representatives voted to make even more changes. A bill passed with the support of some House Democrats that would allow insurance companies to sell policies that lack all the health care reform mandates and renew customer policies that had been canceled.

The bill's fate in the Senate is uncertain.

Consedine said rapid changes in insurance policies and rates could become problematic at the state level. "We really are feeling like sort of like a ship out on the waves being tossed and turned. The prevailing winds go one direction one day and another the next."

Anne-Marie Slaughter is a former director of policy planning at the State Department and the current head of the New America Foundation, a public policy institute. On VOA's Press Conference USA, she predicted Obama would be able to weather the health care storm.

"I think that the need for health care overhaul is so great and already a million people have gotten insurance and there are millions and millions more who need insurance. I think he is going to be able to ride this out," said Slaughter.

Slaughter, however, said the health care controversy could be harmful to the president's Democratic Party in next year's mid-term elections.

You May Like

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportionali
X
Aru Pande
December 19, 2014 1:45 AM
The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportional

The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid