Obama: ‘We’ve Learned Not to Make Wild Promises’

The president tries to draw attention away from the health care website as the December sign-up deadline looms.

National Journal
Brian Resnick
Dec. 3, 2013, 10:34 a.m.

Since Oc­to­ber, the pres­id­ent and the ad­min­is­tra­tion have ad­mit­ted much blame for Health­Care.Gov, walk­ing a long rhet­or­ic­al line away from simply blam­ing the sput­ter­ing launch on too much traffic.

Today, in the face of the Dec. 23 dead­line to sign up for Janu­ary en­roll­ment, the pres­id­ent as­sured that “now … the web­site is work­ing for the vast ma­jor­ity of people.” But, he says he’s learned a les­son in not mak­ing wild prom­ises.

Do not let the ini­tial prob­lems with the web­site dis­cour­age you be­cause it’s work­ing bet­ter now and it’s just go­ing to keep on work­ing bet­ter over time. Every day I check to make sure that it’s work­ing bet­ter. And we’ve learned not to make wild prom­ises about how per­fectly smooth it’s go­ing to be at all time, but if you really want health in­sur­ance through the mar­ket­places, you’re go­ing to be able to get on.

Since the launch of the site, the pres­id­ent has been care­ful to tout the be­ne­fits of the law over the prac­tic­al­it­ies of us­ing it. The re­frain we’ll con­tin­ue to hear: The law is big­ger than a web­site.

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