Obama Announces Big Change to 'Fumbled' Health Care Plan

President says Americans with cancelled health plans can now keep them for one year.
6:47 | 11/14/13

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Transcript for Obama Announces Big Change to 'Fumbled' Health Care Plan
This is an ABC news. Good morning were coming on air right now because President Obama is about to make a major announcement on this troubled health care act. It takes someone of the mounting problems plaguing obamacare the fact that the insurance policies of hundreds of thousands of Americans are being canceled. Despite the president's promise made so many times during the campaign that any American who wants to keep their coverage can keep their coverage. Present also it could face questions about the continuing problems of the health care website we learned yesterday that only a 106000. Americans have signed up for -- so far. Far less from the White House predicted and they are new signs that the website will not be fixed by the late November deadline. Today I want to update the American people on our efforts to implement and improve the Affordable Care Act and -- -- a couple of questions but. Before I do I just wants a few words about the tragedy that's unfolded in the Philippines. Over the past few days. I think all of us have been shaken by the images of the devastation wrought by a typhoon. Hi -- It's a heartbreaking reminder of how fragile life fists. And among the better several Americans. So our prayers are with the Filipino people and -- it. Filipino Americans across our country were anxious about their family and friends back home. -- one of our core principles -- when friends are in trouble America helps. As I've told present -- you know earlier this week the United States will continue to offer whatever assistance we can. Our military personnel and USA ID team do this better than anybody in the world. And they've been already on the ground working tirelessly to deliver food water medicine shelter. And to help -- -- airlift today the aircraft carrier USS George Washington and other ships arrived to help with search and rescue. As -- supplies medical care and logistical support. And more help is on the way. America's strength of course is always been more than just about what our government -- it's also about what our citizens can do. It's about the big hardness of the American people when they see. Other folks in trouble so today I would encourage everybody. Who wants to help to visit whitehouse dot gov slash -- phone. That's whitehouse dot gov slash iPhone and that'll offer you links to organizations that are working on the ground and ways that you can support their efforts. Our friends and -- will face a long hard road ahead but they'll continue to for an apartment in the United States rumor. -- switching -- It has now been six weeks since -- won't care act's new marketplace is open for business. I think it's fair to say that the rollout has been -- so far. And I think are very understands that I'm not happy about the fact that the rollout as. -- You brought -- -- a whole range of problems that been deeply concerned about but today I wanna talk about. What we know after these first few weeks and what we're doing to implement and improve the law. Yesterday. The White House announced that in the first month more than a 100000 Americans successfully enrolled in new insurance plans. Is that as high number as we'd like -- were not. But it does mean that people want -- -- health care. The problems of -- web -- have prevented too many Americans from completing. The enrollment process and that's on us not on that. But there's no question that there's real demand for -- -- affordable health insurance. In the first month nearly a million people successfully completed. An application for themselves or their families. Those applications represent more than one point five million people. Of those one point five million people. -- 106000. Of them have successfully signed up to get cover. Another 396000. Have the ability to gain access to Medicaid under the affordable care. That's been less reported on but it shouldn't be Americans who. -- -- -- difficult time. -- worked for many of them -- May have a disability. They're Americans -- burials and effective they are now able to get insurance is going to be critically important. Later today -- be in Ohio -- governor Kasich. A Republican has expanded Medicaid of -- -- character and as many as 275000. Or higher ones will ultimately be better off because of it. And -- every governor followed suit another five point four million Americans could gain access to health care next year. So bottom line is in just one month despite all the problems that we've seen what the web site. More than 500000 Americans. Could know the security of health care by January 1 many of them for the first time in their lives and that's why change. As significant. That still leaves about one million Americans. Who successfully made it through the web site now qualified by insurance. But haven't picked -- plan. And there's no question that if the website were working. As -- poster that number would be much higher people who actually rolled so that's problem number one making sure that the website works -- its poster. It's gotten a lot better. Over the last few weeks than it was on the first day but were working point 47. To get it working for. The vast majority of Americans in -- -- consist of white. The other problem that has received a lot of attention concerns Americans who receive letters from their shores. That they may be losing the plans they bought in the old individual market. Often because they no longer meet the law's requirements to cover basic benefits like prescription drugs -- doctors business. As I indicated. Earlier. I completely get how upsetting this can be for a lot of Americans particularly after assurances they -- for me that. If they had a plan of -- like they could keep and to those Americans. I hear you loud and clear. I said that I would do everything we can't fix this problem and today I'm offering and I -- -- -- ready people who have plants that predate the Affordable Care Act can keep those plans if they haven't changed that was already in law that's what's called a grandfather clause it was -- -- -- Today we're gonna extend that principle both to people whose plans have changed since the law took effect. And the people who bought plans -- the law took effect.

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

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