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View Count: 40 |  Publish Date: November 19, 2013
News Analysis: Screws tightening on Obama over healthcare website debacle
• Pressure is mounting on U.S. President Barack Obama over his floundering healthcare rollout.• Obamacare has seen myriad technical problems since its Oct. 1 launch.• An estimated 2 million Americans have been dropped from their previous healthcare coverage.
 
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at the White House in Washington D.C. on Nov. 14, 2013. (Xinhua File Photo/Fang Zhe)
by Matthew Rusling
WASHINGTON, Nov. 18 (Xinhua) -- Pressure is mounting on U.S. President Barack Obama over his floundering healthcare rollout, even after a recent tweak to the law intended to help those affected by the problems with the controversial legislation.
Healthcare.gov, is a centerpiece of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, as its commonly known, through which visitors can enroll in health insurance plans. However it has seen myriad technical problems since its Oct. 1 launch.
An estimated 2 million Americans have been dropped from their previous healthcare coverage, as their plans did not adhere to Obamacares strict new coverage standards, landing the president in hot water after his repeated vows that Americans would be able to keep coverage they like.
The broken promise sparked much controversy, and recently forced Obama to tweak part of the law in a fix that allows some dropped policyholders back on their previous plans.
I dont think its a fix thats going to pass muster, Republican strategist Ford OConnell told Xinhua, adding that the move is a bid to buy time.
This is a temporary fix for Democrats who might be on the chopping block in 2014, he said.
Indeed, some experts believe the Democrats could begin to distance themselves from the Obamacare fiasco as the 2014 midterm Congressional elections draw near, in a bid to avoid becoming entangled with the negative publicity from the rollout.
In an apparent effort to distance likely 2016 White House contender Hillary Clinton from Obamacare, her husband and ex-President Bill Clinton last week upbraided Obama for not honoring his promise.
The former president, long known for his keen ability to judge the direction of political winds, said the promise that Americans could keep coverage they favor should be fulfilled even if it means a change in the new law.
On Monday, an article in the National Journal argued that unless the site is fixed by next month -- which many experts say is unlikely -- some Democrats may join ranks with Republicans who are calling for a complete rollback of Obamacare.
More than anything, politics is about self-preservation, and the last two weeks provided numerous examples of how public opinion has turned so hard against the law that even its most ardent supporters are running for the hills, the National Journal wrote.
OConnell added that while Republicans approval rating had been down 8 points due to the recent partial government shutdown, those numbers are now up by 3 points on the Obamacare debacle.
That comes amid Americans increasingly negative views of the overhaul, which was intended to increase the affordability and quality of healthcare in the country.
With 40 percent of Americans approving and 55 percent disapproving, the gap now marks the largest division over the law this year, according to a poll released Thursday from Gallup.
Another Gallup poll released Monday found 56 percent of U.S. adults now say it is not the federal governments responsibility to make sure all Americans have healthcare coverage, a stark contrast to numbers prior to 2009, when a majority said the government should take responsibility for ensuring that all Americans have healthcare.
The White House continues to defend the site, and Obama promised it would be operational by the end of the month.
In a Congressional hearing Wednesday, White House Chief Technology Officer Todd Park said there is much work still to do, but (we) are making progress at a growing rate.
Related:
U.S. Obamacare popularity drops amid website debacle: Gallup
WASHINGTON, Nov. 14 (Xinhua) -- Americans views of President Barack Obamas healthcare overhaul have taken a nosedive in recent weeks amid controversy over its poorly-functioning website, finds a Gallup poll released Thursday.Full Story
 Obama offers solution for canceled insurance plans due to Obamacare
WASHINGTON, Nov. 14 (Xinhua ) -- U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday said insurance companies can extend for one year the health insurance plans for Americans whose policies would be otherwise canceled due to the implementation of his signature health care overhaul.Full Story
Obama administration posts low number for healthcare online enrollment
WASHINGTON, Nov. 13 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on Wednesday said only 106,185 people signed up for coverage in the problem plagued healthcare insurance exchange since it was launched on Oct. 1.
According to the figures, fewer than 27,000 signed up in the 36 states relying on a federal website HealthCare.gov, while more than 79,000 signed up in the 14 states and Washington D.C. running their own exchange websites. Full story
 

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Time: 14:46  |  News Code: 345605  |  Site: Xinhua
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