ENTIRE VIDEO- Obama presser on #Obamacare: "I make no apologies for taking this on because somebody...had to do it."

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obama obamacare fix

Here is the entire video of President Obama's remarks and Q and A from the Brady Press Briefing Room concerning the Affordable Care Act problems and fixes, as well as comments about Iran.

Excerpts, courtesy of WaPo's complete transcript:

[I]n the first month, more than a hundred thousand Americans successfully enrolled in new insurance plans. Is that as high a number as we'd like? Absolutely not. But it does mean that people want affordable health care....

In the first month, nearly a million people successfully completed an application for themselves or their families.

Those applications represent more than 1.5 million people. Of those 1.5 million people, 106,000 of them have successfully signed up to get covered. Another 396,000 have the ability to gain access to Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act...

[I]f every governor followed suit, another 5.4 million Americans could gain access to health care next year.

So bottom line is in just one month, despite all the problems that we've seen with the website, more than 500,000 Americans could know the security of health care by January 1st, many of them for the first time in their lives. And that's life-changing, and it's significant. That still leaves about 1 million Americans who successfully made it through the website and now qualify to buy insurance but haven't picked a plan yet...

I completely get how upsetting this can be for a lot of Americans, particularly after assurances they heard from me that if they had a plan that they liked they could keep it. And to those Americans, I hear you loud and clear. I said that I would do everything we can to fix this problem. And today I'm offering an idea that will help do it.

Already people who have plans that pre-date the Affordable Care Act can keep those plans if they haven't changed. That was already in the law. That's what's called a grandfather clause that was included in the law. Today we're going to extend that principle both to people whose plans have changed since the law too effect and to people who bought plans since the law took effect.

So state insurance commissioners still have the power to decide what plans can and can't be sold in their states, but the bottom line is insurers can extend current plans that would otherwise be cancelled into 2014. And Americans whose plans have been cancelled can choose to re-enroll in the same kind of plan.

We're also requiring insurers to extend current plans to inform their customers about two things: One, that protections -- what protections these renewed plans don't include. Number two, that the marketplace offers new options with better coverage and tax credits that might help you bring down the cost...

It is important to understand, though, that the old individual market was not working well. And it's important that we don't pretend that somehow that's a place worth going back to. Too often it works fine as long as you stay healthy. It doesn't work well when you're sick. So year after year, Americans were routinely exposed to financial ruin or denied coverage due to minor pre-existing conditions or dropped from coverage altogether even if they've paid their premiums on time. That's one of the reasons we pursued this reform in the first place.

And that's why I will not accept proposals that are just another brazen attempt to undermine or repeal the overall law and drag us back into a broken system...

I understand why folks are frustrated. I would be too, because sometimes, you know, people look at what's taking place in Washington, and they say not enough is getting done that helps me with my life. And, you know, regardless of what Congress does, ultimately, I'm the president of the United States, and they expect me to do something about it...

On the website, I was not informed directly that the website would not be working as -- the way it was supposed to. Has I been informed, I wouldn't be going out saying, boy, this is going to be great. You know, I'm accused of a lot of things, but I don't think I'm stupid enough to go around saying, this is going to be like shopping on Amazon or Travelocity, a week before the website opens, if I thought that it wasn't going to work...

[T]here is no doubt that the way I put that forward unequivocally ended up not being accurate. It was not because of my intention not to deliver on that commitment and that promise. We put a grandfather clause into the law but it was insufficient...

[M]y expectation was that for 98 percent of the American people, either it genuinely wouldn't change at all, or they'd be pleasantly surprised with the options in the marketplace and that the grandfather clause would cover the rest. That proved not to be the case. And that's on me...

I am very frustrated, but I'm also somebody who, if I fumble the ball, you know, I'm going to wait until I get the next play, and then I'm going to try to run as hard as I can and do right by the team. So, you know, ultimately I'm the head of this team. We did fumble the ball on it. And what I'm going to do is make sure that we get it fixed...

I think it is not possible for me to guarantee that a hundred percent of the people a hundred percent of the time going on this website will have a perfectly seamless, smooth experience.

We're going to have to continue to improve it, even after November 30th, December 1st. But the majority of people who use it will be able to see it operate the way it was supposed to...

[T]here are going to be a certain portion of people who are just going to need more help and more hand-holding in the application process.

And so -- so I guess part of the continuous improvement that I'm looking at is not just a technical issue; it's also can we streamline the application process; what are we doing to give people more assistance in the application process; you know, how do the call centers and the people who are helping folks in person -- how are they trained so that things can go more smoothly, because the bottom line ultimately is I just want people to know what their options are in a -- in a clear way. And you know, buying health insurance is never going to be like buying a song on iTunes. You know, it's just a much more complicated transaction...

But I make no apologies for us taking this on because somebody, sooner or later, had to do it.

I do make apologies for not having executed better over the last several months.

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  • http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/ GottaLaff

    No, because the GOP will make sure it doesn't.

  • Chernynkaya

    Do you think it'll help stop the hair-on-fire?