“Beset by hard-to-keep promises and a massive website failure, President Barack Obama traveled to the heart of the ‘Obamacare’ opposition Wednesday, declaring that ideological rigidity was denying health insurance to millions of Americans,” the AP writes. “Ad-libbing at a synagogue in Dallas, Obama said he was the first to admit he was unhappy with the rocky first month since new insurance exchanges went live. He implored volunteers and guides who are working to help consumers to stick with it, casting it as an effort that would, eventually, be well worth the trouble.”
USA Today: “President Obama attempted on Wednesday to move the focus of the national conversation over the Affordable Care Act beyond the problems that have stymied its rollout. At a meeting with activists and volunteers working on promoting the ACA in Dallas, Obama assured backers of the law that his administration was working "overtime" to fix problems with the troubled online health exchange. But regardless of problems with the website, the president stressed their advocacy of the law was critical.”
“Senators from President Barack Obama’s own party pressed him in person on Wednesday to extend the enrollment deadline for Americans to sign up for health insurance because of the malfunctioning website,” AP writes. “Obama invited Senate Democrats facing re-election next year to the White House to discuss the problem-plagued health care rollout that could affect their races. The White House confirmed Obama and Vice President Joe Biden met with 16 senators to describe fixes that are being made to the website for Americans to sign up for insurance under his signature health care law.”
National Journal: “Senate Democrats facing reelection in 2014 carried their concerns over the rollout of the Affordable Care Act to the White House on Wednesday for a private meeting with President Obama, with some voicing pointed frustration at the administration's efforts.”
That won’t be helped by this: “Internal documents obtained exclusively by NBC News reveal that ‘stress tests’ done to a key component of Healthcare.gov the day before the website went live showed it could only handle 1100 users at once before it became overloaded,” NBC’s Frank Thorp reports.
And from The Hill: “Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius acknowledged on Wednesday that the initial enrollment numbers through the new healthcare exchanges will be ‘quite low.’ In testimony to the Senate Finance Committee, Sebelius said ‘the struggles people have had getting access to the site’ will contribute to a disappointing first month and a half. ‘I’m hoping that with the site improvement we’ll see more robust numbers, but until the site is really improved … we’re going to have a struggle getting significant numbers to sign up.’”
Oh, Joe… The Cape Cod Times: “Biden calls to congratulate wrong Martin Walsh.” From the story: “A White House operator phoned Walsh after the race was called for the other Walsh to set up a call with the president, and Walsh, who was watching the returns at home on television, had to explain that they had the wrong Marty. Then the phone rang again, and it was Biden himself on the phone. ‘You son of a gun,’ Biden started in on the call, before being informed that it wasn't the former Kennedy staffer he knew that had been elected mayor.”