News / USA

Obama Takes Full Responsibility for Fixing Health Care Website

President Barack Obama speaks about the federal health care law, at historic Faneuil Hall in Boston, Oct. 30, 2013.
President Barack Obama speaks about the federal health care law, at historic Faneuil Hall in Boston, Oct. 30, 2013.
VOA News
U.S. President Barack Obama says he takes full responsibility for making sure the problems with the new health care website are fixed as soon as possible.

Speaking in Boston on Wednesday, the president said the website is too slow and that too many people looking to buy insurance are getting stuck. He said he is not happy about it and there is no excuse for it.

But he said the so-called Obamacare website ultimately will be the easiest way for Americans to shop for a health care plan.

Earlier, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius apologized to a congressional committee for the troubled website. She called the technical problems a "debacle."

Sebelius said she has brought in new management, however, to fix the website and that it already has improved.

Obama defended his health care initiative at Boston's historic Faneuil Hall - the same place where former Republican governor Mitt Romney signed Massachusetts' state health care law in 2006.

The U.S. president said he modeled the federal law on the Massachusetts law. He pointed out that the state also had trouble getting its plan launched. But he said dire predictions that it would be a disaster did not come true.

Under Obamacare, uninsured Americans have until March 31 to buy a federally subsidized health care plan or face a financial penalty.

Obama repeatedly assured his audience that people who like their current plans will be able to keep them. Republicans accuse him of breaking his word, saying that some people have had their plans canceled because they do not comply with the new federal law.

Republicans also have argued that the troubled health care website's glitches are proof the government is not capable of managing the complex program.

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