with a moment in the obama presidency unlike any we have seen before. The commander in chief under fire trying to quiet the fury surrounding his signature achievement, obama care. Today announcing a... See More
with a moment in the obama presidency unlike any we have seen before. The commander in chief under fire trying to quiet the fury surrounding his signature achievement, obama care. Today announcing a change in the rules, but the measure of what this means for his leadership can be seen in his face. Take a look at these pictures from three and a half years ago, the joy, the confidence as he signed obama care into law, and here was his face today as he told the nation he fumbled the ball in a big game. Our team is standing by and abc's white house correspondent jim avila starts us off now. Reporter:52 minutes of contrition. How many ways can the president apologize for the obamacare rollout. We counted 28. I do make apologies for not having executed better. That's on me. That is something I deeply regret. We did fumble the ball on it. I feel deeply responsible. Reporter: White house aides tell abc news the president told his staff in a series of meetings, "this is no ordinary problem." These mistakes undercut his credibility that both the website and the cancellation notices were "messes of their own making that have a real impact on people's lives." And while the president didn't dress down his staff, it's not his style, everyone got the message. I'm the president of the united states, and they expect me to do something about it. Reporter: Here's what he did. After two years of promising if you like your plan you can keep your plan and then watching policies cancelled. Today he changed the rules, proposing that anyone who received a cancellation letter be allowed to keep their current plan another year. Insurance companies may not cooperate but the white house doesn't want the blame. The affordable care act is not going to be the reason why insurers have to cancel your plan. Reporter: As for the website, the president second guessed himself publicly, admitting the federal government does not do websites well and he should have known it. How we purchase technology in the federal government is cumbersome, complicated and outdated. Reporter: For the first time president obama said no one told him in advance the website he based his signature program on was likely to crash so spectacularly. I don't think I'm stupid enough to go around saying this is going to be like shopping on amazon or travelocity a week before the website opens if i thought that it wasn't going to work. Reporter: Instead aides tell abc news the president felt he suffered a surprise wound from his own staff, leading to this final promise. These are two fumbles on a big game, which -- the game is not over. Reporter: A truly remarkable presidential mea culpa. In fact, one of the president's long time friends telling abc news this was one of the most deflating days of his presidency, still not enough for congress which plans on voting on a bill tomorrow which would further alter the affordable care act. Thank you, jim. We have george stephanopoulos standing by. First, we asked rebecca jarvis talking to insurance companies to tell us if today's announcement means that premiums are going to increase. Reporter: What's important and every american should year is that the vast majority of us will see everything remain the same as a result of this announcement. Those who are covered by medicare, medicaid or employer insurance will have the exact same premiums next year that they already expected to pay. But there is a small minority that is at risk. Those who have lost their plans already under obama care, those people will now have to go back to their insurance companies. The insurance companies will have to offer the same plans. The states will have to approved them and they could be at higher premiums. Rebecca, thanks for the clarity in the chaos today. Turning now to george stephanopoulos. Take us behind closed doors. What are they saying at the white house today? Reporter: They had to do this. There was no choice. Even more important than that, if something happened this week that has not happened throughout the entire obama presidency. You saw poles show a majority of americans for the first time not trusting, not trusting president obama. Even when americans disagreed with him they trusted him and liked him. If that personal credibility crumbles everything else falls. This isn't just about obama care in their view? Not at all. This is the president's signature achievement. It would be a black mark for it not to work. Bigger than that, this has a potential to undermine his entire legacy, his entire vision of government. I went back and read the president's inaugural speech from just the beginning of this year. This was a call to what he called collective action, government action. If government doesn't work here he is not going to be advance that agenda for activists. His entire vision for a second term begins to collapse. So many plans on the line. Thank you, george. Thank you rebecca once again. Extraordinary day today. Now we move
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