POLITICS: PennAve

President to address 'unacceptable' Obamacare glitches

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Politics,White House,Barack Obama,Obamacare,Health Care,PennAve,Kathleen Sebelius,Meghashyam Mali,Healthcare.gov,Technology,HHS

President Obama on Monday will host a White House event, where he will address the technical glitches in the launch of Obamacare's health insurance websites and call the missteps "unacceptable."

“In his remarks, the President will directly address the technical problems with HealthCare.gov – troubles that he and his team find unacceptable – and discuss the actions he has pushed for to make it easier for consumers to comparison shop and enroll for insurance while work continues around the clock to improve the website,” said a White House official on Sunday.

“He will remind the public that while these technical problems are unacceptable, the health care law is about much more than just a website – it’s about finally offering millions of Americans the health care security they deserve and giving new benefits and rights to those who have coverage today,” the official added.

Obama will be joined by consumers and business owners who have benefited from the law, including some who have signed up for the new insurance exchanges, at the 11:25 a.m. ET Rose Garden event.

Obama’s event comes after a botched rollout for a new website on Oct. 1 designed to register consumers for new insurance plans.

Visitors to the site were unable to register or access information about the plans. The administration said the website was unable to handle the large amount of traffic generated by the public’s interest. But critics said it showed poor planning and highlighted larger problems with the rollout of Obama’s signature domestic achievement.

Some GOP lawmakers have called for Obama to fire Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and are pushing for further delays to key provisions of the law.

Sebelius has declined calls to testify before Congress at a hearing this week on the tech glitches.

HHS said on Sunday that they were bringing in additional tech experts to quickly fix the website problems.

On Saturday, administration officials said the websites had seen 19 million unique visits and nearly half a million applications for insurance.

Republican efforts to link delaying Obamacare to a government funding bill and a measure to raise the nation’s debt limit also sparked a 2-week budget fight and shutdown.

Brian Hughes contributed.

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