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Obama to address health website woes

6:21 AM, Oct 21, 2013   |    comments
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (USA Today) -- President Obama, moving past the government shutdown and debt ceiling disputes, spends Monday on an issue now getting more attention: The problems with the rollout of his health care plan.

In the late morning, Obama is expected to criticize the many problems consumers have had logging onto the health care website, while stressing the benefits of the law and emphasizing his administration's efforts to fix the shortcomings.

Obama is expected to declare the technical issues with HealthCare.gov unacceptable.to him and his team.

The president will also seek to promote positive impacts of the new law, and will be joined by "consumers, small business owners, and pharmacists who have either benefited from the health care law already or are helping consumers learn about what the law means for them and how they can get covered," says the White House schedule.

Obama's guests will also feature "individuals who have already applied for and enrolled in quality, affordable coverage through the Marketplaces and those who are planning to after exploring and comparing their new health care options," the White House added.

Congressional Republicans who opposed the health care law said the initial problems call the entire program into questions.

Citing reports that few people have signed up for health care exchanges, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told CBS' Face The Nation: "God only knows how much money they've spent, and it's a failure. You know, the government simply isn't going to be able to get this job done correctly."

The most immediate problem is the website.

In a blog post, the Department of Health and Human Services said some applications to HealthCare.gov "have had trouble creating accounts and logging in to the site, while others have received confusing error messages, or had to wait for slow page loads or forms that failed to respond in a timely fashion."

Said HHS: "The initial consumer experience of HealthCare.gov has not lived up to the expectations of the American people. We are committed to doing better."

By David Jackson, USA TODAY

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