President Obama on Wednesday said he takes full responsibility for the troubled HealthCare.gov website and is determined to make sure it gets fixed “ASAP.”
“The website hasn’t worked the way it’s supposed to in these past few weeks,” he told an audience in Boston. “There’s no denying it. The website is too slow … and I’m not happy about it.”
His remarks followed testimony on Wednesday morning in which Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius took blame for the botched website and told Americans during testimony at a congressional hearing that: “You deserve better. … I apologize. … I’m accountable to you.”
The president compared the problems to the rollout of the health care overhaul in Massachusetts that occurred under then-Gov. Mitt Romney in 2006.
“Health care reform in this state was a success,” he said. “But there were problems at the start. There were changes that needed to be made.”
Even so, the president said, the “parade of horribles” predicted for what’s been dubbed “Romneycare” never materialized.
Today, he said, the “vast majority” of Massachusetts citizens are happy with their coverage.
He pointed to popular aspects of the 3-year-old federal law, including an end to discrimination against children with pre-existing conditions and the ability of parents to keep children on their plans until age 26.
As The Associated Press reports:
“Underscoring the president’s challenge, the healthcare.gov website was down, because of technical difficulties, during his remarks.”