U.S. President Barack Obama acknowledged Monday that technical problems are arising with the launching of the Affordable Care Act, but he emphasized that the reform "is not just a Web site."
The ACA site, www.healthcare.gov "hasn't worked as smoothly as it was supposed to work," Obama admitted at an event in the White House Rose Garden.
The Web site, he said "has been too slow, people have been getting stuck during the application process. And I think it's fair to say that nobody is more frustrated by that than I am - precisely because the product is good, I want the cash registers to work."
Despite those problems, which are being used by Republicans to renew their attacks on the ACA, Obama said that "thousands of people" have signed up in the new medical insurance markets that have been open since Oct. 1.
The aim is for the greatest number of people possible to have acquired guaranteed health care coverage by Jan. 1, 2014, when obligatory medical insurance comes into force, that being the basic clause of the 2010 ACA, Obama's signature domestic policy initiative.
"We are doing everything we can possibly do to get the Web sites working better, faster, sooner," the president said Monday, adding that the government is getting advice "from some of America's top private-sector tech companies."
Nevertheless, Obama noted that, although using the Web is the easiest way to sign up for health insurance in the new markets, there are other ways to do so. For instance, there is a 24-hour telephone line in 150 languages or people can go in person to their health centers and local organizations and enroll in any of a number of plans. EFE