News / USA

Obama Issues 2nd Public Apology for Glitches in Health Care Law

FILE - President Barack Obama in the East Room of the White House in Washington.
FILE - President Barack Obama in the East Room of the White House in Washington.
VOA News
U.S. President Barack Obama said that he regrets his administration "wasn't as clear" as it needed to be about details of his health care reform program, and that he has directed his administration to "close some of the gaps" in the new law.

Obama spoke on national television Thursday, when he directed his apology to what he said are the 5 percent of Americans who bought insurance on their own and have since had their policies cancelled.

Those cancelled policy holders are being forced to enroll in new plans with their current insurer or through government exchanges -- sometimes at a higher rate.

The president said "obviously we didn't do a good enough job, and I regret that." He also said he regrets that people are "finding themselves in this situation based on assurances" he made to them.

The televised apology marks the second time in 10 days that Obama has been forced to concede the rollout of his landmark health plan has not gone smoothly.

In Boston last week, he said the government website was too slow and failing to serve many people seeking to buy insurance online. He said he was not happy about the situation, and called the technical glitches "a debacle."

Under the Affordable Care Act, widely known as Obamacare, Americans have until March 31, 2014 to buy a federally subsidized health care plan or face a financial penalty.

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