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UPDATE: Pres. Obama: 'The Affordable Care Act is not just a website'

UPDATED Monday, October 21, 2013 --- 11:47 a.m.

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From NBCNews.com

By Carrie Dann, NBC News

President Barack Obama publicly acknowledged on Monday that the new health care law’s website "hasn’t worked as smoothly as it was supposed to work," but he urged Americans not to be deterred from registering for Obamacare because of the technological problems that have plagued its rollout.

"The Affordable Care Act is not just a website," he said. "It’s much more."

Joined at the White House by Obamacare applicants and beneficiaries, Obama said the plans available through the health care exchanges -- despite the issues with online enrollment -- are helping consumers.

"That product is working. It's really good. And it turns out there's a massive demand for it," he said.

Saying that there's "no sugarcoating" the website's problems, Obama pledged quick improvements to the beleaguered HealthCare.Gov site.

"Nobody’s madder than me that the website’s not working like it should, which means it’s going to get fixed," he said.

Dinging Republicans for "rooting for [Obamacare's] failure," Obama acknowledged that the glitches in the site have exposed the law to further attacks from opponents.

"But we did not wage this long and contentious battle just around a website," he added. "That’s not what this was about."

He also encouraged those who want to apply for the program to do so "the old fashioned way" -- by phone or in person -- as work on the website continues.

Issues with the online health care site have plagued the administration since the web site’s rollout on Oct. 1.

The Department of Health and Human Services said Sunday that it plans to enlist “the best and the brightest from both inside and outside government” to help fix the online issues, but it’s unclear how long the digital repairs will take.

Over the weekend, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said on NBC’s "Meet the Press" that the president is “frustrated” with the rocky rollout and that HHS plans to fix the “unacceptable” problems as soon as possible.

Senior administration officials say about 476,000 health insurance applications have been filed through the Obamacare website so far.

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Posted Monday, October 21, 2013 --- 10:53 a.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama is acknowledging his health care law's rollout "hasn't worked as smoothly as it's supposed to work."

Obama is encouraging Americans who want to sign up for insurance under new government exchanges to keep trying. He spoke from the White House's Rose Garden.

The remarks came at Obama's first health care event since widespread problems with sign-ups online became apparent.

He blamed problems in part to an overwhelming response. He says the program doesn't depend on website and there are other ways to sign up.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press


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