Obama speaks Thursday on the Affordable Care Act. He avoided blaming anyone on his staff or in his Cabinet for problems with the health care exchange website.
White House officials are slated to brief House and Senate Democrats in meetings Thursday, and it’s not clear yet if the fix will calm a party shaken by the rocky HealthCare.gov rollout and millions getting cancellation notices despite Obama’s promise.
Obama indicated that he is opposed to the Upton bill, but said he is open to legislative remedies as long as they do not undermine the overall law. He appeared contrite and acknowledged that the rocky rollout has hurt chances for Democrats next year, but said the glitches are his fault, not theirs.
He also could not guarantee that the HealthCare.gov website would be 100 percent fixed by the end of the month — and said he would not have compared it with shopping on Amazon or Travelocity if he knew it wasn’t going to work.
More broadly, he dismissed criticism from some of his fellow Democrats that he and his administration are too insular — noting he talks to lots of people every day. But he acknowledged that the botched rollout would require him to rebuild his credibility to push the rest of his agenda. That agenda — notably immigration and budget priorities — is floundering.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.