Obama, Staff Still Don't Know Why Rollout Failed

Saturday, 16 Nov 2013 12:31 PM

By Andrea Billups

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Facing what some believe is its toughest week, the Obama administration is now in reflection and reorganization mode, assessing at a troubling crossroads the disastrous and ongoing fallout of its signature healthcare plan amid other notable errors in foreign and domestic policy.

The "what went wrong" posture on the Obamacare healthcare rollout comes as the president has issued multiple apologies and as media and consumers point a tougher finger at his administration's execution of key policies that some fear will taint his legacy, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The lack of credible responsibility continues to stagger as Democrats in Congress, which the president has repeatedly misread, pull away from him in fear of hot constituent backlash and looming 2014 midterm elections.

But many inside the Beltway and elsewhere seem shocked as Americans must deal with the ramifications of a health policy that its own government created, but now can't manage. It's no longer Republicans who are using the word "lied" when referring to the president's healthcare debacle.

"Had I been informed (about the healthcare.gov website), I wouldn't be going out saying, 'Boy, this is going to be great,'" Obama told reporters, sparking a ripple among news outlets who diplomatically were forced to concur: if he didn't know, as president, who did and why didn't they tell him? Most notable, some allow, is that no key administration official charged with the healthcare rollout has been fired.

Those dealing with Obama on the issue didn't mute their anger. "I'm sure he has all sorts of reasons he made the decision he made,'' said Monica Lindeen, vice president of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners told the Journal. "But from a practical standpoint, for commissioners all across this country, it really did turn our lives upside down."

The president promised to do better, putting him in a mea culpa posture that his administration has thus far eschewed, even as the problems continue to mount for states, for insurers and confused consumers who bear the ultimate penalties of his plan. As such, the White House is seeking better organization moving forward, the Journal reported, noting other issues including the failed appointment of Lawrence Summers as Federal Reserve chairman and military action in Syria.

"I'm just going to keep on working as hard as I can around the priorities that I think the American people care about,” the president told reporters at a press conference Thursday, the Christian Science Monitor reported, noting that the president's credibility was on the line.

"I think it's legitimate for them to expect me to have to win back some credibility on this health care law in particular and on a whole range of these issues in general," Obama said.

"We fumbled the rollout on this health-care law. I am very frustrated, but I’m also somebody who, if I fumbled 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."


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