She was courteous enough that even President Obama said she didn't "have to pussyfoot around," but the woman who asked about Obamacare gave a pretty comprehensive indictment of the law's rollout and consequences for her family.
"I'm probably not the only one who has had really a panicked experience lately trying to figure if my 10-year-old son can continue with his specialist or not. I know that I cannot keep my plan, which I liked," Rebecca Stewart of Kentucky said to Obama during a Google+ hangout hosted by the White House today. "But as I'm trying to decide what to do going forward, I've spent weeks and days on the phone getting confidently-delivered wrong answers, conflicting information, and it's becoming quite obvious to me that a lot of agencies -- almost every one I've talked to -- is having a lot of trouble figuring out the new rules. So, I'm afraid that perhaps average Americans who haven't had the time or ability to do the legwork that I've been able to do are perhaps going to be blindsided by this."
She asked Obama what he would do to simplify the process. "What I'll do first, right away, is make sure somebody out of here -- this White House -- calls you directly and I promise you that not only will they be confident but it will be the right answer," the president replied.
The Republican National Committee jumped on the encounter. “The White House has to call the woman directly to make Obamacare work, but what about the 5 million Americans who have had their plans cancelled? Will the White House be calling them directly?" asked RNC spokesman Raffi Williams in a statement to the Washington Examiner.
Obama acknowledged the flawed rollout. "You don't have to pussyfoot around -- the rollout was a problem, because the website wasn't working properly," he said. But he urged people to go to healthcare.gov now, "where you do not have to wait anymore," Obama said.
"Generally speaking, for the majority of people -- certainly if you don't have health insurance -- this will be a good deal for you," he said, adding that people such as Rebecca Stewart who do have health insurance ought to receive lower premiums for better coverage under the new system.
"We are looking at rules to make sure that someone who is actively being treated, for example, can remain with their specialist for the duration of their treatment."