In a major reversal Thursday, President Barack Obama caved to political pressure and announced a fix for his signature health care law. Washington bureau reporter Michael Scotto filed the following report for NY1.
After weeks of political attacks and growing dissent within his own party, President Barack Obama acknowledged Thursday that his administration messed up.
"We fumbled the rollout on this health care law," he said.
The president announced a one-year fix that promises to put an end to health insurance cancellations that have become a public relations nightmare for the White House, which had already been dealing with the botched rollout of healthcare.gov.
"Those who got cancellation notices do deserve and have received an apology from me, but they don't want just words. What they want is whether we can make sure that they are in a better place," Obama said.
The about-face comes after Republicans accused the president of misleading the public when he told Americans that they could keep the health insurance they liked.
The change will only extend to people being dropped from plans that don't meet new standards under the Affordable Care Act, and it will be up to insurance companies and state insurance commissioners to decide if they want to comply.
As expected, the president's announcement was not enough for Republicans, who still plan to vote Friday on their own proposal to stop the wave of insurance cancellations.
In a statement, House Speaker John Boehner said, "The President has absolutely no credibility on his promise."
It does appear, though, that the president's plan has helped quiet a rebellion in the Democratic Party.
On Thursday afternoon, House Democrats met behind closed doors with top aides to the president.
"There were a lot of questions yesterday, a lot of hard questions," said Rep. Jose Serrano of the Bronx. "Today, it's, 'Look, he spoke. This looks like it's going in the right direction now.'"
Democrats say that they may also offer their own legislative fix, and they acknowledge that it's possible that the Republican plan could get a good number of Democratic votes, especially from members in competitive districts.