KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Obama Seeks To Redirect Some Of The Blame For Health Law Difficulties Toward Republicans

Speaking Tuesday to the Wall Street Journal's CEO Council, President Barack Obama talked about the challenges his administration has faced recently -- and still faces in the future -- regarding the roll-out of the health overhaul. Meanwhile, another poll indicated the president's approval ratings are sinking. 

The Washington Post: Obama Says Republicans Share Some Blame For Health-Care Law's Failures
President Obama on Tuesday sought to redirect some of the political blame for the botched rollout of the federal health insurance exchange to Republicans, characterizing GOP lawmakers as rooting for the law’s failure. Addressing a gathering of business executives, Obama acknowledged that the health-care rollout “has been rough, to say the least,” and he lamented the government’s archaic information-technology procurement system (Rucker and Somashekhar, 11/19).

ABC News: Obama: Rebranding Obamacare Will Be A Challenge
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 (Bruce, 11/20).

NBC News: Obama: We 'Underestimated' Difficulty Of Launching Obamacare Portal
President Barack Obama said Tuesday that his administration "underestimated" the difficulty of launching the troubled HealthCare.gov web site but that political partisanship is also to blame for the law’s poor rollout. "I think that we probably underestimated the complexities of building out a website that needed to work the way it should," Obama said during an interview with the Wall Street Journal’s Gerald Seib as part of its "CEO Summit." (Dann, 11/19).

CBS News: Poll: Obamacare Support, Obama Approval Sink To New Lows
President Obama's job approval rating has plunged to the lowest of his presidency, according to a new CBS News poll released Wednesday, and Americans' approval of the Affordable Care Act has dropped it's lowest since CBS News started polling on the law. Thirty-seven percent now approve of the job Mr. Obama is doing as president, down from 46 percent in October -- a nine point drop in just a month. Mr. Obama's disapproval rating is 57 percent -- the highest level for this president in CBS News Polls ( Dutton, De Pinto, Salvanto and Backus, 11/20).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Health Secretary Says Website Will Improve, But Still Be A Work In Progress Come December
The HealthCare.gov website will still be a work in progress beyond the end of the month, Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Tuesday, appearing to soften a promise that the site will be working by then for the vast majority of users. "The 30th of November is not a magic go, no go date. It is a work of constant improvement. We have some very specific things we know we need to complete by the 30th and that punch list is getting knocked out every week," Sebelius told The Associated Press (11/19).

The Washington Post: Carney Says Obama Was Told About Healthcare.gov Review In April
White House press secretary Jay Carney said President Obama was told in April about a review of HealthCare.gov's problems, but Carney declined to specify the details of the briefing. A federally-commissioned review by McKinsey & Co. concluded in late March that the online enrollment system was risky because the design process was flawed, The Washington Post first reported Monday night (Eilperin, 11/19).

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