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Topics: Obamacare

Obama warns of the next big problem for Obamacare

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Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke,Barack Obama,Obamacare,Health and Human Services,Healthcare.gov

President Obama has gone from declaring "the product is good" to warning the media in advance about yet "another mistake" that his health care team made while implementing Obamacare.

"Even if we get the hardware and software working exactly the way its supposed to, with relatively minor glitches, what we're also discovering is that insurance is complicated to buy," Obama told reporters Thursday.

"Another mistake that we made, I think, was underestimating the difficulties of people purchasing insurance online and shopping for a lot of options with a lot of costs and a lot of different benefits and plans and somehow expecting that that would be very smooth," he said. "And then they've also got to try to apply for tax credits on the website."

That is an about-face from his defense of the law two weeks ago. "In fact, even with the website issues, we've actually made the overall process of buying insurance through the marketplace a lot smoother and easier than the old way of buying insurance on your own," he trumpeted in the Rose Garden. "The way we've set it up, there are no more absurdly long application forms."

They may not be long, but they're still too complicated, he said. "So, what we're doing is even as we're trying to solve the technical problems is also [wondering], what can we do to make the application a little bit simpler?" Obama told reporters.

"What can we do to make it [be] in English as opposed to bureaucratese? Are there steps that we can skip while still getting the core information that people need? And part of what we're realizing is that there are going to be a certain portion of people who are going to need more help and more hand-holding in the application process?"

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