Tags: Healthcare Reform | obamacare | google | hangout | questions

Americans Give Obama an Earful on Healthcare in Online 'Hangout'

Saturday, 01 Feb 2014 01:59 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

President Barack Obama was confronted with questions about Obamacare Friday during a Google Plus "Hangout Road Trip" that allowed Americans to ask him questions directly.

The event had been touted as a way to voice concerns to the president, but many people logged on to ask him difficult questions and to complain about many of the less-popular features of his signature healthcare reform, reports The Washington Times.

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"I cannot keep my plan, which I like," Kentuckian Rebecca Stewart told Obama. "I’ve spent weeks, with 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 everyone I’ve talked to, is having a lot of trouble figuring out the new rules."

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She said her 10-year-old son needs to see a specialist, and she is having trouble finding replacement insurance that includes his doctor.

Obama told Stewart that "somebody" from the White House would call her directly and give her the "right answer."

But Obama told others searching for answers to their Obamacare questions to call a help line on the exchange so they can "hopefully" get a good answer. But when Stewart said she'd repeatedly called the exchange hotline, moderators on Friday night's online chat cut her off.

Another listener complained that his work hours were cut to part-time because of the Obamacare mandate that requires employers to provide insurance for people who work 30 or more hours a week.

Darnell Summers of Milwaukee told Obama that he earns $7.25 an hour as a fast-food fry cook, and the mandate means he'll make even less money.

"We can’t survive," Summers told Obama. "It’s not living."

Obama sidestepped the Obamacare issue and discussed his proposal to raise minimum wage, not answering Summers' concern.

"I think the one thing Americans agree on is that if you work full-time in this country, you should not be in poverty when you’re raising your family," Obama told him.

The Google Plus event was nicknamed a "road trip" because the president was answering questions from across the country, reports The Guardian. This is the third year Obama has taken to Google to answer questions after his State of the Union address.

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