ObamaCare enrollees to join president in Rose Garden (Video)
By Justin Sink - 10/20/13 05:12 PM ET
President Obama "will directly address the technical problems" with the ObamaCare website during a Rose Garden event Monday morning, according to a White House official.
The president will discuss work continuing "around the clock" to improve the website, which has been plagued by problems since its launch earlier this month. According to the White House official, the president and his team find those troubles "unacceptable."
The official said the president will be joined by "consumers, small business owners, and pharmacists," including individuals who have already enrolled in ObamaCare online.
Many individuals have reported issues creating accounts on the website, which allows uninsured Americans to shop for health insurance. Healthcare providers have also complained that the government has turned over error-riddled data for those Americans who are able to successfully purchase coverage on the exchange.
Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have expressed outrage with persistent problems. The House Energy and Commerce Committee plans to hold a hearing on the website's issues during the week.
On Sunday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the issue "has to be fixed."
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Pat Roberts (R-Kansas) have called for the resignation of Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sibelius over the issues.
In a blog post on Sunday, HHS said it had called in "some of the best and brightest" to help iron out the technical glitches.
“We have updated the site several times with new code that includes bug fixes that have greatly improved the HealthCare.gov experience,” the agency said. “Today, more and more individuals are successfully creating accounts, logging in, and moving on to apply for coverage and shop for plans. We're proud of these quick improvements, but we know there's still more work to be done.”
The White House said the president will also stress that the Affordable Care Act is "much more than just a website" in the event.
"The product – quality, affordable insurance – is good, and if anything, the interest and demand at the launch of HealthCare.gov proves just how urgently Americans want and need access to these new health care options," the White House official argued.
Despite the technical issues that have plagued the opening weeks of the new exchanges, the White House has been eager to highlight the intense interest in the marketplaces.
According to the White House, there have been more than 19 million unique visits to the website since its launch this month. And an administration official said Saturday that nearly a half million Americans have begun shopping for insurance on the site, although the White House did not announce how many of this individuals had successfully purchased coverage.