President Obama admitted that, even once the health care website is working properly, he faces an uphill battle to “remarket and rebrand” his signature law in the face of political opposition.
Speaking to the Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council Tuesday, the president said Republican resistance contributed to the rocky Obamacare rollout.
“What was already going to be hard was operating within a very difficult political environment and we should have anticipated that that would create a rockier rollout than if Democrats and Republicans were both invested in success,” Obama said.
“One of the problems we’ve had is one side of Capitol Hill is invested in failure and that makes, I think, the kind of iterative process of fixing glitches as they come up and fine-tuning the law more challenging,” he added.
Once the problems with the website are resolved, the president said “we’re going to have to, obviously, remarket and rebrand, and that will be challenging in this political environment.”
The president reiterated that HealthCare.gov will be “functioning for the majority of people who are using it” by the end of the month and predicted that consumers will have time to catch up before the enrollment deadline.
Reflecting on the botched rollout, the president admitted, “we probably underestimated the complexities of building out a website that needed to work the way it should.”‘
Once again, he blamed the cumbersome federal government for some of the technical difficulties.
“The way the federal government does procurement and does IT is just generally not very efficient. In fact, there’s probably no bigger gap between the private sector and the public sector than IT,” Obama explained.
“What we probably needed to do on the front end was to blow up how we procure for IT, especially on a system this complicated. We did not do that successfully. Now, we are getting it fixed, but it would have been better to do it on the front end, rather than the back end,” he said.