World News

    Obama 'Frustrated' by Healthcare Glitches, Vows to Fix Them

    U.S. President Barack Obama says he is frustrated by technical problems with his administration's new online health insurance marketplace. But, he says the kinks in the system will "get fixed" and the law that created it is a good deal for the American people.

    In a speech at the White House Rose Garden on Monday, Mr. Obama said "nobody is madder" than him that the HealthCare.Gov site has not worked properly since it opened on October 1.

    The website is a key element of the president's 2010 Affordable Care Act, which has also become known as Obamacare and was designed to make it easier for Americans to obtain private health insurance.

    Internet users have been unable to create accounts, received confusing error messages and pages that loaded slowly or failed to respond.

    President Obama said his administration has recruited some of America's best private sector technology experts to get the website working faster and better.

    Mr. Obama said the Affordable Care Act is more than "just a website." He said he fought for it, despite Republican opposition, to ensure that millions of uninsured Americans can get the same "quality" and "affordable" health care as others.

    Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell dismissed Mr. Obama's remarks in a Twitter post, saying Obamacare "costs too much and is not working the way they promised."



    McConnell also reiterated Republican calls for the president to delay what he called "this rushed effort."

    Mr. Obama was joined in the Rose Garden by Americans who have already applied for health insurance through the site or are planning to do so.

    He said he recognizes that Republicans have made blocking Obamacare "their signature idea." He said he is willing to work with anyone on ideas to make the law work better, but called for opponents to, as he put it, "stop rooting for its failure."

    Demands by congressional Republicans to defund or delay Obamacare contributed to a partial shutdown of the U.S. federal government earlier this month.

    The Republicans demanded the changes to the healthcare law as a condition for funding government operations beyond October 1, but Mr. Obama and his allies in the Democratic-led Senate refused, leading to the 16-day partial shutdown.

    It ended with a bi-partisan deal to re-open the government and avoid a U.S. debt default. The agreement did not include major changes to Obamacare.

    The Health and Human Services Department, which administers HealthCare.Gov, said Sunday its experts are updating the site with new code that includes bug fixes and conducting regular tests to improve the user experience.

    The Obama administration initially blamed the glitches on a high volume of people trying to access the site. It has since acknowledged broader problems with the system, while insisting public demand for the product is strong.

    Mr. Obama said more than half a million applications for health insurance have been received through Healthcare.gov since October 1. Users must file applications before they can enroll in a plan.

    He also said "thousands" have enrolled. U.S. media say the administration has a goal of enrolling seven million Americans by March 31. Individuals who are not insured are mandated to sign up for a plan by that date or face a penalty.

    Critics say that if not enough young, healthy people join the health plans, premiums may rise for those who do enroll.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese Americans for Trump Going Against National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese Americans for Trump Going Against National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora