Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Obama frustrated with healthcare snags

20 October 2013, 18:03

Washington - President Barack Obama is frustrated by the problems in the rollout of his signature healthcare reform and the administration intends to fix them, but the programme's real test will not come until early next year, US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said on Sunday.

Speaking on NBC's Meet the Press, Lew said the administration was determined to repair the technical glitches in the online insurance exchanges that are a central part of the programme known as Obamacare. It launched on 1 October.

"I think that there's no one more frustrated than the president at the difficulty in the website," Lew said. He said the US Department of Health and Human Services "has got plans to fix this and it has to fix this. It has to be done right".

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is expected to provide private health coverage to an estimated 7 million uninsured Americans through the new online marketplaces that opened for enrolment in all 50 states on 1 October.

But the website Healthcare.gov, the administration's online portal for consumers in 36 states, was hobbled by technical problems - including error messages, garbled text and delays loading pages.

Administration officials blame the problems partly on an unexpectedly high volume of 14.6 million visitors in its first 10 days.

Republicans in Congress have chastised Obama's top health adviser, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, for declining their invitation to testify about the glitches to an oversight panel on 24 October.

"It's well past time for the administration to be straight and transparent with the American people," Republican Representative Fred Upton, who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said in a statement last week.

But many Republicans were criticising the programme long before its rocky launch. A 16-day partial government shutdown that ended last week was precipitated by Republican demands to delay or defund Obamacare.

Lew told Meet the Press that the programme's test would be in January, when the actual coverage starts for people who have enrolled by 15 December.

"I think that if we get that right, everyone will regret that the early weeks were choppy on the website. But the test is: are people getting coverage and are they getting the care that they need. And we're confident we're going to be on track to do that," the treasury secretary said.

Obama said in an interview with National Public Radio on 1 October that he was prepared for some problems in the early months of Obamacare as healthcare exchanges were launched.

"There will be a six-month enrollment period. In the first week, first month, first three months, I would suspect that there will be glitches. This is 50 states, a lot of people signing up for something. And there are going to be problems," the president told NPR.

- Reuters


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...