Obama to address health care website tech troubles - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Obama addresses health care website tech troubles

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama is acknowledging his health care law's rollout "hasn't worked as smoothly as it's supposed to work."

Obama is encouraging Americans who want to sign up for insurance under new government exchanges to keep trying. He spoke from the White House's Rose Garden.

The remarks came at Obama's first health care event since widespread problems with sign-ups online became apparent.

He blamed problems in part to an overwhelming response. He says the program doesn't depend on website and there are other ways to sign up.

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WKOW -- President Barack Obama is expected to speak publicly about the problems with the rollout of the federal health care website.

Since its launch on October 1, Healthcare.gov has been plagued with glitches – including crashing and slow response times – that have left many unable to buy health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

White House officials say the president will acknowledge that the technical problems are unacceptable, as well as outline the steps his administration has already taken to fix the glitches. A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services says the agency is bringing in government and private technology experts to help fix the computer problems.

Republicans went on Sunday talk shows, aiming fire at the website and calling for the resignation of Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

"Absolutely she should resign," Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) told CNN's Dana Bash. "Why? Because the program she implemented, Obamacare, is a disaster. It's not working. It's hurting people all across this country."

Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) called the health care rollout a "fiasco," and recommended sending "Air Force One out to Silicon Valley, load it up with smart people, bring them back to Washington and fix this problem. It's ridiculous. And everybody knows that."

House Democrats acknowledge say the glitches are "unacceptable" and "must be fixed," however say that "what doesn't have to be fixed is the fact that tens of millions more people will have access to affordable, quality health care, that no longer have a preexisting medical condition will bar you from getting affordable care," House minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D-California) said on ABC's This Week.

Here in Madison, people on the east side gathered on Sunday to look at their options.

"There's a lot of misinformation out there, there's a lot of disinformation. It's so important to get the accurate facts out there so people know what options are available to them," Rabbi Bonnie Margulis said, as she led a group discussion about what she called the "Affordable Care Act 101."

The website says people can apply for coverage by phone, online, by mail, or with the help of an assistant in-person. It also says people can now preview plans and prices available in their area without first filling out an application online and it has an improved cost calculator.

President Obama is speaking publicly about the problems with the federal healthcare website Monday at 10:25 CST from the Rose Garden. Check back on wkow.com for a recap.

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