WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama today said there was "no excuse" for the cascade of computer problems that have marred the rollout of a key element in his health care law, but declared he was confident the administration would be able to fix the issues.
"There's no sugarcoating it," Obama said. "Nobody is more frustrated than I am."
The president said his administration was doing "everything we can possibly do" to get the federally run websites where people are supposed to apply for insurance up and running. That includes bringing in additional technology experts from inside and outside the government to work on the issues.
People have until March 31 to sign up for coverage. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office had projected that about 7 million people would gain coverage through the exchanges during the first year.
The president on Monday guaranteed that everyone who wants to get insurance through the new health care exchanges will be able to, even if they have to enroll over the phone or fill out a paper application.
The White House also appeared to open the door to the possibility that people trying to purchase insurance who were confounded by website problems might be exempted from the law's penalty for remaining uninsured after March 31.