Amid a troubled rollout for his signature legislative achievement, President Barack Obama on Monday defended both the Affordable Care Act and a previous pledge he made in selling the law to the American public.
During a speech before volunteers for Organizing for Action, the President acknowledged that he’s been bothered by the rollout, particularly the problems surrounding the website HealthCare.gov.
“Obviously we’ve been very frustrated, I personally have been very frustrated, with the problems around the website and healthcare,” Obama said, according to a White House pool report.
“It’s inexcusable and there are a whole range of things we’re going to need to do once we get this fixed, to talk about federal procurement when it comes to IT and how that’s organized. But the model of providing health insurance for all Americans and using not just what government can do but also private sector competition and choice, that model’s working.”
Obama also made a point to explain his previous claim that those who like their insurance plans would be able to keep them, an oft-invoked promise that has come under criticism recently due to reports of individual policies being dropped. While even former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said that the administration should not have made that claim, Obama has called the reports of cancelled coverage “grossly misleading.”
On Monday, he once again defended the line.
“What we said was you could keep [your plan] if it hasn’t changed since the law was passed,” Obama said, as quoted by CBS News. “If the insurance company changes it … they’ve got to change it to a higher standard.”
According to CBS, Obama “argued that allowing insurance companies to continue to offer what the government deemed to be plans with insufficient coverage would have broken the promise he made to ensure no American is one illness away from financial ruin.”
Watch video of Obama’s remarks, via CBS: