Vice President Joe Biden in a speech Friday joked that he should have nominated President Obama for “sainthood” after seeing his patience during the rocky rollout of the health law's new insurance exchanges.
In an address to the National Association of Community Health Centers policy summit in Washington, D.C., Biden told the health care workers in attendance that “we didn't help you much at the front end,” acknowledging the problems that plagued the healthcare.gov launch.
“My boss, my friend Barack Obama, is an incredibly patient man,” Biden continued. “I suggested, after going through the first couple weeks, I would nominate him for sainthood … that he kept his patience.”
In his remarks, Biden encouraged the audience to do what they could to help bolster enrollment in state and federal exchanges with under two weeks left before the end of the open enrollment period.
The administration says enrollment has passed 5 million through February, but initial targets aimed for 7 million enrollees. The numbers are also short of the 40 percent initial target for young consumers, who are needed to help keep costs down.
“You know, it got off to a slow start,” said Biden. “The president and I were as frustrated as anyone.”
“But it's basically fixed,” he added.