News / USA

President Obama Defends His Health Care Law Against Critics

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.
TEXT SIZE - +
Cindy Saine
— President Barack Obama traveled to Boston, Massachusetts, Wednesday to promote his signature health care law, amid widespread criticism of the government’s troubled launch of its health care website. Health insurance coverage has become a contentious political issue in the United States, and the president chose Boston for his speech in order to make a statement.  

Health care was a major issue in the 2012 presidential campaign, when Obama defeated former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.   

Obama chose to speak at the same venue Wednesday where then-governor Romney announced Massachusetts’ law mandating that everyone have health care insurance in 2006.  

The president said that back then, Democrats and Republicans came together to win universal health care for everyone in the state. He highlighted the program’s success, and called for some Republican governors across the country to stop trying to derail his health care plan.

“If they put as much energy into making this law work as they do in attacking the law, Americans would be better off,” he said.

When he ran for president, Romney opposed a national mandate for health care insurance, while Obama used the Massachusetts plan as a model for his reform.

Some Republicans are criticizing Obama for repeatedly saying during the 2012 campaign that Americans who like their health insurance can keep it. Under the new law, some individuals have seen their existing policies terminated by insurance companies. Obama said some insurers who had been offering bad plans cancelled those plans, and that people can buy better plans now online.

The president said the Massachusetts plan got off to a slow start, just as the Affordable Care Act has, but that it has proven to be a real success.

Earlier Wednesday, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius appeared before a congressional panel and, for the first time, said she is sorry for the miserable experience many have had trying to sign up for health insurance on the government website.

“You deserve better. I apologize. I am accountable to you for fixing these problems and I am committed to earning your confidence back by fixing the site,” she said.

U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius testifies before a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on the failures of the Affordable Care Act enrollment website on Capitol Hill in Washington, Oct. 30, 2013.U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius testifies before a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on the failures of the Affordable Care Act enrollment website on Capitol Hill in Washington, Oct. 30, 2013.
x
U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius testifies before a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on the failures of the Affordable Care Act enrollment website on Capitol Hill in Washington, Oct. 30, 2013.
U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius testifies before a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on the failures of the Affordable Care Act enrollment website on Capitol Hill in Washington, Oct. 30, 2013.
House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, a Republican, said ahead of the health care launch that Sebelius and her colleagues repeatedly assured lawmakers that the program was ready for the public.

"But something happened along the way, either those officials did not know how bad the system was, or they did not disclose it. And sadly, here we are not five weeks into enrollment, and the news seems to get worse every day," said Upton.

Sebelius pledged that the government website will be running smoothly by the end of November, and she noted that Americans have until the end of March next year to sign up before they face penalties for not having health insurance under the law. She would not say how many people have signed up for the plan to date.

You May Like

Abuja Blast Impacts Lives, Livelihoods

Officials say they are looking at ways to help bombing victims and boosting security More

Cambodia Technology Adviser Criticizes Cybercrime Draft Law

Phu Leewood says current criminal code can be used to prosecute offenders and that there is no need for a separate law More

Photogallery A Year Later, Boston Remembers Deadly Marathon Bombings

City pauses to honor victims and salute emergency workers who came to their assistance in frantic moments after blasts More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid