A day after his apology regarding the broken health insurance promises, and weeks of being lampooned by late night comics and country music stars, President Barack Obama was again praising his signature health law and providing some excuses.
President Barack Obama speaks at the Port of New Orleans, Friday, Nov. 8, 2013 in New Orleans. Obama traveled to the Gulf Coast region to make a case that more exports equal more jobs. After New Orleans he will go to Miami area for three Democratic fundraisers.(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
He never brought up the pledge made 36 times hat anyone who likes their current health insurance plan can keep it, instead choosing to narrow the problem to the inoperable website.
“Now, we've had this problem with the website. I'm not happy about that, but we're working overtime to make sure that it gets fixed because right now, we've put in place a system, a market place, where people can get affordable health care plans,” Obama said at a speech Friday in New Orleans. “I promise you, nobody has been more frustrated. I wanted to go in and fix it myself, but I don't write code.”
Obama seemed to pause but got little response from the crowd:
“But every American with a preexisting condition who has been waiting for a day they could be covered just like everybody else, for folks who couldn't afford to buy their own insurance because they don't get it on the job, we're going to fix the website because the insurance plans are good millions of Americans are finding that they're getting better coverage for less cost and it's the right thing to do,” the president continued.
As is often customary when a president visits a state, he praises the home state senator of his party, Sen. Mary Landrieu.
But Landrieu, a Democrat and Louisiana's senior senator, has been in the news this week for proposing legislation called, the “Keeping the Affordable Care Act Promise Act” that would grandfather in all current plans, ensuring no one would lose their current plan.
“She's traveling around the state today and doing unbelievable work on behalf of the people of Louisiana. I just want to say, nobody is a tougher advocate on behalf of the working people of Louisiana than Mary Landrieu. So we're very, very proud of the work that she does.”
Earlier this week, Landrieu issued a statement about her bill insisting that Obama's promise be kept.
"A promise was made and this legislation will ensure that this promise is kept. For many consumers, plans in the Marketplaces may offer superior coverage at a good value that saves them money. But people should be able to keep their plans if they want to," Landrieu said in a statement. "
White House spokesman Jay Carney was unclear Thursday whether the White House would support or veto such legislation.