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Americas

Obama pledges to fix flawed healthcare site

© AP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-10-30

US President Barack Obama said on Wednesday that he will take “full responsibility” for fixing the federal government’s healthcare insurance website, HealthCare.gov, which has been plagued by problems since its launch on October 1.

US President Barack Obama said on Wednesday that he will take “full responsibility” for repairing the federal government’s flawed healthcare insurance website, HealthCare.gov, which has left millions of Americans frustrated since its launch on October 1.

“There’s no denying it, right now the website is too slow, too many people have gotten stuck and I’m not happy about it,” the president said in a speech.

“There’s no excuse for it, and I take full responsibility for making sure it gets fixed ASAP.”

The website has been plagued by technical problems since its activation, preventing many people from signing up for insurance plans under Obama’s signature Affordable Care Act.

Earlier in the day, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius apologised for the website’s faulty rollout.

“Hold me accountable for the debacle. I’m responsible,” Sebelius said at a congressional hearing.

Sebelius, who was in charge of spearheading the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, has become a political punching bag for Republicans who have repeatedly called on her to resign over the flawed website. The White House has continued to support her.

“I am as frustrated and angry as anyone with the flawed launch of Healthcare.gov,” Sebelius testified. “So let me say directly to these Americans: You deserve better. I apologize.”

The hearing was convened to discuss problems with Healthcare.gov, the federal government’s portal to online health insurance marketplaces for millions of uninsured Americans in 36 states. The site was crippled by technical glitches at its launch and continues to be plagued by issues including outages.

The administration has set itself a late-November deadline for resolving the issues at Healthcare.gov. Experts say that leaves little time for additional error. Failure to enable uninsured people to sign up for coverage beginning Jan. 1, when the law comes into full force, could jeopardize Obama’s goal of enrolling 7 million people through online marketplaces in 2014.

(FRANCE 24 with wires)

Date created : 2013-10-30

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