On a conference call last, President Obama said that the troubled rollout of HealthCare.gov had led to “misinformation” being spread about his signature achievement. “Frankly, there have been problems with the website that have created and fed this misinformation,” he told supporters on the call held by Organizing for Action, the advocacy group created out of his 2012 campaign.
The president did not specify what misinformation he was referring to. He did blame Republicans for obstructing the law:
“We knew it was going to be hard because change is hard, and there are a lot of vested interests,” the president said. “And obviously we haven’t gotten a lot of cooperation from the other party.”
The president said he had discovered that this health-insurance business is actually pretty “complicated”:
“We’ve always understood that we are going to have to enroll people by mail, we’re going to have to enroll people over the phone, we’re going to have to enroll people in person,” he said. “It turns out that purchasing insurance for a lot of folks is complicated, it’s not something they’ve necessarily done before.”
He seemed to lay further blame for the complications on those inexperienced consumers, per the Washington Post’s account:
He added, “it’s a little scary going out and shopping for your own.”
Though, as the AP report puts it, “Obama displayed little of the vigor he deployed during his re-election campaign last year,” he did promise that he had some fight left in him: “I’ve got one more campaign in me, and that’s making sure this law works.” (The president still seems not to have grasped that whether or not the law works has little to do with his skills as a campaigner.)
The call itself didn’t go as smoothly as Obama might have hoped:
In a bit of irony for a president who’s spent recent weeks dealing with technical difficulties, some seeking to join the call were initially prevented from doing so by technical issues with the web-based platform for the conference call.