The Commander-in-Chief became the "Salesman-in-Chief" on Mondau, selling his Affordable Care Act and promising the government's website would be improved.
Since the Oct. 1 launch, the site "healthcare.gov" has been plagued by glitches and consumer complaints. President Obama says he's the first to admit the website has been a frustrating experience for millions of Americans.
"Nobody's madder than me about the fact that the website isn't working as well as it should, which means it's going to get fixed, " President Obama said at the White House.
Determined to convince Americans to look on the bright side, the president said the website is just part of the Affordable Care Act. He says his signature legislation has already improved coverage for millions of Americans. For example, young adults who are now allowed to stay on their parent's insurance policies, and those with pre-existing condition who couldn't find coverage before.
And, for those trying to shop on the website, President Obama says any frustration will be well worth it once they can see the coverage options and the prices available.
"The product is good. The health insurance that's being provided is good. It's high-quality and it's affordable," President Obama tried to reassure skeptical consumers.
The president claims 500,000 Americans have successfully applied for coverage, but Republicans have said that number doesn't mean anything until we know how many people have actually purchased plans. The administration plans to release monthly numbers on the progress of the Affordable Care Act, much like the government released monthly unemployment figures. Many Republicans have been pressuring the White House to get the computer problems fixed, and many have called for the resignation of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. She will testify before Congress next week.
Website woes, other options
As for the online glitches, the president says some of the country's top tech experts are working around the clock to make the government's website work faster, sooner, and better. In the meantime, President Obama urged Americans who'd like to shop for insurance to use the other options that are available.
The president reminds Americans they can get help by phone, or in person. He says the call centers have hired extra staffing to help people buy the coverage they need. The president says the average wait time to speak with someone can be less than a minute. He says the whole process takes about 25 minutes for individuals and 45 minutes for a family.
The phone number to call is 800-318-2596.
To find specially-trained navigators that can help you in person, President Obama said you should go to localhelp.healthcare.gov.
And, don't forget the website to shop the Michigan marketplace is www.healthcare.gov.
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