Obama Draws Comparisons Between Massachusetts Health Care, 'Obamacare'

President Obama touts state's health care in defense of his own plan currently under attack by GOP.
3:00 | 10/30/13

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Transcript for Obama Draws Comparisons Between Massachusetts Health Care, 'Obamacare'
This is a special room. And I'm -- -- air with a CBC news digital special report President Obama is in Boston this hour historic annual hall. Where he will make the case yet again for his Health Care Reform law. This of course the same spots where Mitt Romney signed off on Massachusetts law that Obama care is modeled after. Presidents speaking just hours after secretary of health and human services Kathleen Sebelius. Faced some tough questions from Republicans on the botched -- -- and other Obama care concerns. But first I wanna go to ABC's Mary Bruce Houston -- at the White House has been awaiting the president's management podium and Mary is -- the president can say here that's really get. Not secretaries it really is out of the headlines. The president's trying to shift the narrative about Obama -- he's trying to move some attention away from these problems with the website and focus more on what is working and what can work. Mention he's in Boston of course -- at the historic annual hall including trying some comparisons between the successful Massachusetts state plan and his own federal plan. Now the Massachusetts plan -- hailed it as a success was slowed to get started in the first month only a 123. People -- -- Now of course I think -- over 97% of Massachusetts residents have coverage so the president will be trying to draw lessons from that Massachusetts experienced. -- he asks Americans to be patient with him during this rollout process. And yet at the same time as secretary Sebelius facing very very tough question this morning up on -- up on Capitol Hill. Absolutely she was definitely in the hot -- this morning she was grilled by house Republicans. But again the president trying to kind of counter program -- at this speech today. And draw attention away from some of those tough questions that are coming from lawmakers up on the hill and focus on what is working with -- -- And that was some of the points that the secretary's face is fairly early on and the question is well not only with the rollout of the web -- but also with the actual specifics of the planet itself -- and criticism from some of the Republicans that where they were testifying there were there were grilling. The secretary this morning. -- that's -- Republicans continue to try and highlight how these problems with the web site. Are really indicative of bigger problems with the law in general that's the argument -- the Republicans are making that this is not just specific to some web site. But these are really signs of failure with the entire. Obamacare legislation overall and that's a lot of what we heard this morning on the hearing and hearing became really much more about the overall legislation that was about that that the web -- itself. Absolutely. Let me ask you this married just a coincidence that the president has returned to the scene essentially that the very same spot Mitt Romney signed his. Own health care law. No coincidentally at all their Dan as you mentioned this is that the exact location where then governor Romney signed his bill into law. -- as he -- he was accompanied by the the late Senator Ted Kennedy who was instrumental. In creating that -- drafting that legislation but keep in mind that's an important distinction needs to be made here between the Massachusetts experience and what we're seeing now -- is obamacare roll out. In Massachusetts that Clinton had bipartisan support from the start which is clearly something that this plan does not. It's ready so -- that that both the secretary of health and human services and the president has been working to -- address Anthony's. Recent weeks as well the White House -- also been very adamant and very steadfast in not changing any of the deadlines for enrollment eyewitness. That's right I'm -- -- out heading into the second month of this six month enrollment period the website it's. Still not working the administration says it won't be up and running -- Until the end of next month but even despite that delay they are not going to change that date march 31 is still the deadline to enroll. Before you go ahead and face those penalties that that tax mandate. But so far the administration despite calls for them to change that they are holding holding steady they are not going to change that date. Mary let me ask about this will the president be forced to address his own comments when he said over and over that people. Could keep their insurance if they wanted. The press is coming under a lot of criticism for those comments as you know that was a -- Rain that he -- he issued over and over again. In the run up to this bill when he was trying to sell this plan to the American people and now Republicans are claiming that he misled the American people that he was lying when he claimed that. Because there aren't a lot of Americans who are now being issued. These these notices that they're being kicked off -- insurance -- about fourteen million Americans. Those Americans that are enrolled in private insurers are not anyone who who has their health care plan to -- Through Medicare Medicaid or through their employer like most Americans and the reason they're getting these notices is because their plans essentially. Don't meet the standards of obamacare and so they're being forced to change and adopt -- new plans. But then meet those higher standards of the president's health care law the White House says this is something that has always been known has always been made public. But it you know the president might have oversold it here bison -- -- stating over and over again if you have your plan you like your playing you can keep your plan. Mary let me ask you about this because obviously there are very few things that -- in Washington DC is strictly by chance or serendipity. Of course game six of the World Series tonight in Boston any -- are -- the president's. It a little convenient -- -- if that happens to be gained six the president is in Boston the White House however has assured us that the president is not going to be attending the game. It's a bit of a nuisance for security becomes a headache and kind of this detracts from the from the main event although I wonder if his beloved White Sox are playing maybe he'd be singing a different and maybe he'd be willing to stop -- button that's not going to be happening tonight. -- right exactly and as you -- absolutely not an easy change of heart for Secret Service is they would try to after region at the schedule around a little bit. What are we hear from the White House we hear any additional plans for these types of appearances because again it's something that was on the books and scheduled obviously before the World Series. Given the fact that it has it increased attention there Boston but. What is next and for the White House as far as this public campaign of information and rolling out the affordable care. I suspect the president in his White House will continue to keep up this drumbeat to continue to make the public case. That this law is working that despite these technical glitches despite the box roll out. That the product is good that they are going to fix these problems and that ultimately. Obamacare will work in the end. Earlier today when the secretary of health and human services was testifying on Capitol Hill one of the congressman had asked her about why in fact she was not enrolling in the Affordable Care Act in this -- -- a place on her response. Why are you in the exchange you're in charge of this law correct why aren't you in the exchange. Because I'm part of the federal employee health why aren't -- in the -- when you go into the exchange you're you're part of this law you're literally in charge of this law. Should you be any different than all the other Americans out there who -- losing their. Why will you not agree I am not eligible for the exchange. I would I have. Coverage you -- decide to drop your coverage of -- -- you have the choice to decide not to shoes that is not true answer I chose not to -- members of congress are now part of the exchange thanks to an amendment can't forget it by congress but I -- military with all due respect if -- -- affordable coverage in my workplace I -- not eligible to go into the marketplace. The -- that started -- law. I would have madam secretary I would encourage you to be just like the American people. And entered the exchange and I agree to find a way to Greeley -- So -- there has been a lot that has been pulled apart from that statement if in fact. Is it illegal. For the secretary that we know of at this point to enroll in the Affordable Care Act. It is not technically illegal but it's certainly wouldn't make a lot of financial sense as she mentioned she has health insurance she's on the federal plan. And if you have a have a private injured she's a public insurance like that you can go ahead and keep it if you're insured through your employer she could technically get not get insurance through the exchange. But she would likely face additional fines and penalties and that would make it more expensive -- -- this is a growing chorus that we've heard especially from Republicans. That administration officials should require to be on the public exchange some lawmakers are -- doing have a that if she mentioned was part of a separate amendment but it is it is an important topic of discussion and one that we obviously -- play out there that feisty exchange this morning. And his feisty and a very long exchange as well I wanna go up to -- -- -- -- -- -- if you -- where Governor Deval Patrick he's talking about Massachusetts. It's about insuring people against a medical catastrophe. It's about being our Brothers and our sister's keeper by helping others help themselves. The website glitches are inconvenient. And -- they must be fixed and I'm confident they will be. But I hope you know mister president. At the same folks who pretend to be outraged about the website not working didn't want the AC -- -- work in the first place. The urgency of fixing what's not working. Is is we all know. About the American people who -- simple reliable and convenient access to information about -- not about. Silencing critics will never be silenced. You. And the congress. Looked to Massachusetts Mr. President as a model for how to ensure working people. And through that how to help -- lead better more productive lives. As -- turn to the vital work and making that federal IT system work. We also want to be a model for how to keep your eyes on the prize. And how working together you put. People first. If people here all industry coalition. Probably get that. So Mr. President. Welcome to the capital of Red Sox Nation. And welcome also to the future of affordable. Accessible. Health care for everybody ladies and. -- -- -- One of America's best governors introduced me Deval Patrick. It's good to see congressman Bill King -- -- -- big round of all. I wanna -- as somebody who was not here -- just left him. But. He wears his heart honestly he loves this city so much. And it shows in what he's been doing for years now one of America's best -- -- It's. Good -- all of you. And -- -- just. At the airport devolved gotten up to maybe along with Mayor Menino and Mayor Menino went back -- to City Hall to work so they could wrap up in time first pitch. I am well aware that a presidential visit is not. The biggest thing going on today -- I tried to grow albeit. -- -- -- -- I -- also old enough to remember a time when the Red Sox were not in the World Series three times in ten years. But I -- the chance to win one at home for the first time since 1918. And special. There are problems. We will be done here in time. Her body and head over of Fenway and maybe see Big Papi -- another home it. Maybe the other Sox will be better next. -- You can hope you can great. The reason I'm here -- Is. Because this is the hall where seven years ago. Democrats and Republicans. Came together. To make health reform a reality -- the people of Massachusetts. It's where then governor Mitt Romney. Democratic legislators. Senator Ted Kennedy. Many of the folks were here today joined forces. To connect the progressive vision of health care for all. Win. Some ideas about markets and competition that had long been championed by conservatives. And has the ball just said. It worked. No care. -- Words are might help your bed but we will. The what. That is the wrong rally. We have the climate change rally back and in the summer. So how do. You are -- in this state was -- success. I -- -- it was perfect right away. There -- early problems to solve. Their work changes that had to be made. Anybody here was involved -- argument. As the -- -- said enrollment was extremely small. Within a month only about a hundred people had signed up. A hundred. But then 2000 had signed up. And then a few more thousand after that and by the end of the year 36000. People had signed up. And the community we all came together you even had the Red Sox. Help and lets people -- to get him cover. And pretty soon the number of young. Uninsured people -- -- When recessions brought the financial security of help care. Shelter families from Hartford. And today. There is nearly universal coverage in Massachusetts. And the vast majority of -- citizens are happy with their -- And by the way all -- -- -- horrible the worst predictions about Health Care Reform in Massachusetts. Never came true. -- the same arguments that you're here now. Business has been stopped covering workers the share of employers who -- insurance increased. People don't get left behind. Racial disparities decreased. -- and become unaffordable. Cost. Tracked. What was happening in other places that wasn't -- -- but. Now that Mitt Romney and I ran a -- and spirited campaign against one of but I've always believed that when he was governor. Here in Massachusetts he did the right thing on health care. -- -- The ball did the right thing by picking up the torch and working to make -- won't work even better. And it's because you guys had a proven model that we built the Affordable Care Act on. This -- flight of proven bipartisan. Success your -- was the model offer the nation's law. OK. And we'll. -- What look look what happened. Today the Affordable Care Act requires insurance companies to abide by some of the strongest consumer protections. This country has ever known a true patient's bill of rights. No more discriminating against the pre existing committee. Okay. No more dropping -- policy when you get sick and need it most. No more lifetime limits or restricted annual limits. -- -- Most plans now -- have to cover free preventive care like. Like mammograms and and birth control. Young people can stay on their parents' plans until they turn 26 all of this is in place right now it is working. Now the last element of this. Began on October 1. When the Affordable Care Act created a new marketplace. For quality private insurance plans. For the 15% or so Americans who don't have health care and for the 5% of Americans who have to abide on the wrong and they're not part of a group. Which means they don't get as good a deal. And this new marketplace was built on the Massachusetts problem. It allows these Americans. Who have been locked out. To get a better deal from insurers they're pulling their purchasing power as one big group and insurers want their business which means they give -- a better deal. And they compete for that business. And as a result insurers in the marketplace. They can't use your medical history to charge you more. If you've been sick -- finally have the same chance to buy quality affordable health -- as everybody else. A lot of people will qualify for new tax credits under this law -- won't bring down costs even further. So that if you lose your job. Or just start a new business. Or your self employed or you're a young person -- several jobs until you find that one that sticks. You're going to be able over be insured. Insurance that goes with the it. And gives you freedom to pursue whatever you want without fear that accident or illness. Will be -- your efforts. This marketplace is open now. Insurance companies are competing for. That business. The deal is good the prices are low. But let's face it we've had a problem. The web -- out of work the way it's supposed to. Over these last. Couple weeks. And as a consequence lot of people haven't had a chance to see just how good the prices for quality health insurance through these marketplaces -- are. Ultimately this website health -- dot gov. Will be the easiest way to shop worn by these new plant because he -- -- plans right next to each other and compare prices and see. What kind of coverage provides. But. Look if there's no denying it right now the web site is too slow too many people have gotten stock. I'm not happy about. And neither are a lot of Americans who need health care and they're trying to figure out how they can. Sign happens as quickly as possible. So there's no excuse for. And I take full responsibility for making short it gets fixed ASAP. We are working overtime to improve it every day. -- And more people are successfully buying these new plants online than they were a couple weeks ago. And I expect more people being able -- by conveniently on line. Every single day as we move forward. We're gonna get these problems resolved now in the meantime. You can still apply for coverage over the phone or by mail or in person. Because those plans are waiting. And you're still able to get the kind of affordable reliable health insurance. It's been out of reach for too many people for too long. So I am old enough to remember when there was not such a thing as a web -- I know that. No that's. Shocking to people. But the point is I'm confident these marketplaces where -- work. Because Massachusetts. Has shown that the model works and we know what's being offered by. And so -- choice and competition in the new national marketplaces have helped keep cost lower than even we projected. In fact nearly half of all single uninsured eighteen to 34 girls. May be able to buy insurance for fifty bucks a month or less less than your cellphone bill left -- your cable bill. And one study shows that nearly six in ten uninsured Americans may find coverage for -- hundred. Bucks a month or less even if they're older than thirty -- And frankly if every governor was working as -- as. The ball. Or governor O'Malley of Maryland -- Governor Cuomo in New York. To make this -- work for their citizens as -- thinking politically. About eight in ten Americans would be getting health insurance plus on the -- And we'll. And by the way it's it's not dozen Massachusetts. Look at -- top. Governor Steve this year was a Democrat. It is like a man does best with helping more people get covered he thinks it's the right thing that -- -- given -- -- cannot win. In Kentucky. But they're all uninsured people in -- And they're signing up. -- has covered 10%. Of its uninsured citizens already because of the affordable care 10% of -- Arkansas. -- when that state. It's covered almost 14%. Of its uninsured already. We've got some Republican governors like governor Kasich. Ohio. Who put politics aside. And they're expanding Medicaid through this -- to cover millions of people. Unfortunately and there are others that are so. Locked -- -- the politics of this thing that they won't lift a finger to help their own people. Mets leaving millions of Americans uninsured. Unnecessarily. That's a shame. Because it if they put as much energy in the making this -- work. As they do an attack in the long. Americans would be better. -- that's a -- care. Better protections for Americans with insurance a new marketplace for Americans without insurance. New tax credits to help -- supported. More choice more competition. Real health care security not just for the uninsured. Or underinsured but for all of us because we paid more in premiums and taxes. When Americans without insurance -- emergency room. There. -- And since we all benefit there are parts of this law that also require everybody to contribute. The require everybody to take some measure responsible. So to help pay for the law the wealthiest Americans families who make more than 250000 dollars a year. Got -- a bit more. The most expensive -- health insurance plans no longer qualify for -- -- -- experts. Some folks aren't happy about that but it's the right thing to do. Just like -- Massachusetts. Most people who can't afford health insurance have to take responsibility to -- health insurance or pay a penalty. Employers -- more than fifty employees are required to either provide health insurance to their workers or pay a penalty. Again because they shouldn't just don't bottles costs on the rest of us here -- got some responsibilities. That. It is also true. That some Americans who have health insurance plans that they bought on the roamed through the -- individual market. Are getting notices from their insurance company suggesting that somehow because -- Affordable Care Act they may be losing their existing health insurance plans this -- -- The latest -- in the news. There because there's been a lot of confusion misinformation about this I want to explain just what's going wrong. One other things health reform was designed to do. Was to help not only the uninsured but also be underinsured. And there are a number of Americans fewer than 5% of Americans. Who got cut -- plans that don't offer real financial protection in the event of a serious illness or an accident. Remember before they Affordable Care Act these bad apple insurers had 308. Every single year to limit the care that you received or used minor pre existing conditions. Jack up your premiums. Or -- -- into bankruptcy. So a lot of people thought they were buying coverage and turned out not it's a -- Before they Affordable Care Act. The worst of these plants routinely drop thousands of Americans every single year. And on average premiums for folks who stayed in their plans. For more than a year shot up about 15%. A year. This wasn't just -- those folks were. Had these policies were bad for all of us. Because again when tragedy strikes and folks can't pay their medical bills everybody else picks up the ten. Now if you had one of these sub standard plans before the Affordable Care Act became law. And you really like that plan. You were able to keep and that's what I said when I was running for office. That was part of the promise we made. But ever since the law was passed. If insurers decided to downgrade or cancel these sub standard planned. What we should under the law as you've got to replace them with all the comprehensive coverage. -- that too was a central premise of the Affordable Care Act from the very beginning. And today that promise means that every plan in the marketplace covers. Of course at a minimum benefits like maternity care and preventive care and mental health care and prescription drug benefits and hospitalization. And they can't use allergies -- pregnancy. Or sports injury or the fact that -- a woman to charge you more. And. -- -- -- -- Afford coverage because. Your child. While -- is now covered. If -- one point five million Americans with a mental -- -- now cover. Your young couple expecting a baby you're covered you're safer. The system is more secure for you when it's more secure for everybody. So if you're getting one of these letters. To shop around -- in the marketplace. That's what it's for. Because of the tax credits were offering -- and that competition. Because the tax credit the -- operating. And the competition between insurers. Most people are going to be able to get better comprehensive health care plans for the same price or even cheaper than projected. You're gonna get a better deal. Now there's oppressed Americans with -- higher incomes will pay more on the front -- for better insurance what better benefits. And protections like the patient's bill of rights. And that'll actually save them from financial ruin if they get sick. But nobody is losing the right to health care coverage. And no insurance company will ever be able to deny you coverage or drop it was a customer altogether those days are over. And that's the truth. -- -- So for people. Without health insurance they're filing -- -- -- -- For the met Basque majority of people who have health -- that works you can keep. For the fewer than 5% of Americans who buy insurance on your own you'll be getting a better deal. So anyone peddling the notion that insurers are canceling people's plan without mentioning that. Almost all the insurers aren't hurting people to join better plans with the same carrier and stronger benefits and stronger protections. While -- -- -- -- get better plans with new carriers through the marketplace. And that many will get new help to pay for the better plans and make them actually cheaper if you leave that stuff about. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Look you that you saw the semester is -- -- the challenges of Health Care Reform health care is complicated. And is very personal. And -- -- problems. And it's no surprise that some of -- same folks trying to scare people now. Are the same folks -- been trying to sink -- affordable care from the beginning. And frankly I don't understand. Providing people would -- care. -- should be a no brainer. Given people a chance to get health care. -- -- And I've said before folks that actually. Good idea is better ideas. Then what's happening in Massachusetts. Or what we proposed. For providing people -- -- insurance. Idea let's. That's not what's happening. And anyone defending the remnants of the old broken system -- it ever -- working for people. And -- things we shouldn't finish the job. -- making health care system work for everybody. Especially when these folks -- no plan for the uninsured. -- -- underinsured are folks who lose their insurance each year. Those folks -- enter explain themselves. You know. About think we should go back to discriminate against kids with preexisting -- The dropping coverage for people when they gets sick of it because they make a mistake on their application. I don't think we should go back to the daily cruelties and indignant cities and indignities. And constant insecurity of a broken health care system and I'm confident most Americans agree. The road and so yeah this is our. -- -- -- systems a big system. As complicated. And it was hard Dornan just and one state it's harder note. In all fifty states. Especially when the governor -- a -- states. And half of the congress are trying to help. It's hard but it's worth it. It is the right thing to do. And forward and -- the wall just like you did hear him at the -- We are -- Gotta keep -- -- that I grind it out. Just like you get here in Massachusetts and by the way just like we did when the prescription drug program for seniors note known as Medicare partnering -- past. By a Republican president -- -- ago. I don't -- I had some early challenges as well there are even problems with a web site. And Democrats weren't happy with a lot of aspects of -- wrong. Because. In part it added hundreds of billions dollars in deficit to one paid for unlike be Affordable Care Act which will actually help lower the deficit. It won't. Week. You know what once it was belong. -- pitched in to try to make it work. Democrats weren't about to punish millions of seniors. Just to try to make a point or settle a score. Some Democrats worked with Republicans didn't make it work. I'm proud -- Democrats for having done. The right thing to do because now. Does -- about 90% of seniors. Like what they have. They've got better deal. Both parties working together to get the job. That's what we need in Washington right now. Enough Republicans in congress were vigor to help. Americans get covered with some. Republican governors have shown themselves to be -- make a lot of progress I'm not asking them agree with me on everything. But -- -- work with a -- Mitt Romney didn't work and what Democrats in Massachusetts. Or like Ted Kennedy often did what Republicans in congress. Including on the prescription drug bill. -- be a lot further along. So the point -- -- political disagreements. We do. -- ones. And some kids we've got fundamentally different versions -- about where we should take the country. But the people who elect us to serve. They should pay the price for those disagrees. Most Americans don't see things through political -- or an ideological ends. This debate is never been about right or left it's been about. The helplessness. That a parent feels when she can't cover sick child. When impossible choices a small business -- between covering his employees are keeping his -- -- -- -- -- close with the with the within examples. A person named Allen -- is from Plattsburgh New York. And he's got a story to tell about sacrifice but giving up his own health care to save the woman he loves so Allen wrote to me. Last week. And he told me a story for years ago his wife Jan who happens to be a nurse. Was struck with cancer. And -- stopped work. And then halfway through her -- Her employer. Drop coverage. For both of and -- self employed he's got a antique business. So. He had to make sure his wife -- coverage out of criminal cancer treatment so he went without insurance. A great news today Janet's cancer -- she's on Medicare. But Allen's been on a shorter recess. Until last week. -- -- -- -- Down at a computer. I'm sure after multiple tries. Sign up afraid new plan. Under the affordable care. Coverage. -- -- want to read you what he says. In this letter he says I gotta tell -- I've never been so happy to pay a bill in my entire life. When you don't have insurance at my age. We can really feel like a time bomb waiting to go. The sense of relief from knowing I could live out my days longer and healthier that's just a tremendous weight off my shoulders. So. Two days later. Allen goes over. To his buddy bill passed. It's it's build -- and his wife Diana at their computer. And after several -- Allen helped lift that weight from their shoulders by helping them to sign up for new plan also. And compared to their current plan that cost less than half as much and covers more. That's why we committed ourselves to this cause. For Allen and -- for bill Diana. -- For anyone. Who wrote letters and shared stories and knocked on doors. Because they believed what could happen here in Massachusetts could happen all across the -- and are going to -- their. Are going to. This -- is home to some of the early as debates over the nature America. The appropriate size appropriate role of our government. And those debates continue today and that's -- -- debates about. The role of the and a bit. And society. Are rugged individualism. And our sense of self alliance. Are devotion. To the kind of freedoms. The spurs shot rang out not far from here. But there are also debates. Tempered by a recognition that we're all in this together. And that went -- strikes and it could strike any of us at any moment. Where there for one and up. And that as a country we can accomplish great things that we can't accomplish all. Okay. Okay. Those sentiments are expressed -- -- -- right here in this burial. Liberty and union. Now and forever. One. And inseparable. -- it's the value statement -- always talking about. That's what Health Care Reform is about. That's what America's about. We are in this together and we are gonna see it through. Thank you got. The president's team will be fired up crowd. Historic Faneuil hall Lofton and glorious lot of folks in Boston -- their eyes behind me. And I've -- in the I want to bring -- ABC's neighbors are standing by outside the White House talked about the presence of up to Boston. And -- the fact the matter is. Obamacare is law of the land so the president sounding a bit like you sign -- -- bill or initiative. That's right this the president -- assuming this role of salesman in chief if you. He will he was trying to fill. The American people -- this -- will ultimately benefit -- now. -- past three and a half years ago it's been deemed constitutional -- yet the fact that the president is still out there. Pitching the line -- fact. Is really a testament in some ways -- strong opposition. Health reform bill still faces from Republicans Republican lawmakers continued to try and delay get on -- that they recently shut down the government. Over their opposition to the lot and and because of that the president is still in many ways having to get out there and pitch the bill to the American people even as -- enrollment process is open. And based on what we heard then stay the president basically caught the questions about whether or not people could keep their coverage a media creation. -- the same time isn't he responsible for delivering the message in fact that they can. Absolutely we heard him blame Republicans for the media -- -- about around these cancellation notices that are now going out but the president -- expectations very high perhaps a little too high. When he came to that message that if you like your health care plan you can keep it now we know that there about fifteen million Americans without 5% of the population. That -- -- your risk of receiving notices because their current health care plans through the private insurance market. Don't meet those standards that are now -- under obamacare if you heard the president closely you're listening. He did say today that help you have health insurance that works you can keep it a little tweak there in the language. And -- I want to play a little bit about what the president had said in the -- that very point. It is also true. That some Americans who have health insurance plans that they bought on the roamed through the -- individual market. Are getting notices from their insurance company suggesting that somehow because -- Affordable Care Act they may be losing their existing health insurance plans this -- -- The latest -- in the news. There because there's been a lot of confusion misinformation about this I want to explain just what's going wrong. One other things health reform was designed to do. Was to help not only the uninsured but also the underinsured. And there are a number of Americans fewer than 5% of Americans. Who got cut brake plants that don't offer real financial protection in the event of a serious illness or an accident. Remember before their -- -- these bad apple insurers had -- -- So -- the question is why is this message coming out -- -- why was the president not addressing this issue earlier. The White House claims that this was always of course part of the -- something that was known publicly. But the reason I think you're hearing so much about it. Now is because those cancellation notices are going out. People are now feeling the ramifications of this portion of the law and of course that's something. Republicans of them have then you know jumped right on an hour and are using that as another reason to attack a bombing here in essence. But the White House continues to say that the -- reason that this is built into the building to help Americans get better health insurance. Help America insure that Americans have plans that meet the standard that need is higher standard that is part the president's health care bill. Yesterday it was Maryland's governor head of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services today of course company's -- Health and human services secretary Kathleen Sebelius now the president all three volunteering is essentially take some blame. For that botched rollout so which one that is most likely to actually received the blame from that. Of. At the very good question but you're absolutely right that there's now -- this sort of change in tune from the from the administration. Assuming responsibility -- taking blame for the fact this rollout has been essentially a complete disaster. -- heard from the CMS ahead we heard from health and human services secretary Kathleen today is now the president saying that he takes responsibility that this will be fixed. -- -- we don't expect anyone to be fired over that this is still a very broad sense of responsibility that they are standing. And -- -- before we let you -- because obviously they were extensive hearings on Capitol Hill this morning with the health secretary do we hear anything from the president's speech this afternoon that potentially could -- -- that out of the headlines. I doubt it I think I think the virus is on Capitol Hill today it will still be at the front end of day headlines tomorrow morning of course. Or all talking about here but that this was it was a genuine effort on the administration's part to try in at least draw some attention. A wave from from -- fighting in sparring that was going on -- that hearing room and to focus more on on the positive aspects of the bill and the fact that as the president says. This is fixable this will work Americans will be -- thing. -- busy day for the White House indeed ABC's Mary Bruce outside the White House for us Mary thank you for that. We of course have a complete report right here on abcnews.com. And I'm down -- -- New York with this ABC news digital special report.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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