White House Obamacare Apology Too Little, Too Late?

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President Barack Obama and the Health and Human Services secretary took responsibility for the failed launch of the Obamacare website.

Speaking in Boston late Wednesday, the president said, "There's no excuse for it. And I take full responsibility for making sure it gets fixed ASAP. We are working overtime to improve it every day -- every day."

While it was a change of pace from the blame game, it's possibly too little, too late. The president is already taking a hit in the polls, with only 42 percent of Americans approving his job performance. Fifty-one percent of respondents disapprove.

Meanwhile, error messages and delays continue to plague the new healthcare website.

"We're working day and night, and we'll continue until it's fixed," HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said.

But that pledge wasn't enough for lawmakers, who grilled Sebelius Wednesday when she appeared before the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

"The program has crashed and burned at least three times and the users are still having problems. It's been down the whole time you've been testifying," Rep. Pete Olson, R-Texas, told the HHS chief.

Now there are new questions about the security of information entered on the healthcare site.

Sebelius was questioned about a memo from her department stating that the website only has a temporary security certificate.

"This is a completely unacceptable level of security," Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., said. "You know it's not secure."

Sebelius was also asked about the number of people losing their insurance because of Obamacare.

"Today's hearing is about fairness for the American people, who are losing their coverage or seeing their premiums skyrocket as high as 400 percent," Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., charged.

"I received a letter stating the new health care law was indeed the reason for the removal of my current health care plan,'" Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., read a letter from a man named Sean.

"Madam Secretary, what would you tell Sean, who liked his plan and has now lost it, and he was promised by you and the president he'd be able to keep that plan?"

With so many problems hitting the White House, some critics are asking if the president is simply incompetent.

Under fire for the website disasters and secret international spying on the heads of state of friendly countries, the New York Times's Peter Baker said, "In both instances, his explanation roughly boils down to this: I didn't know."

"As a matter of politics, Mr. Obama's plea of ignorance may do less to deflect blame than to prompt new questions about just how much in charge he really is," he concluded.

The administration's new timeline for having the healthcare website fully functional is the end of November.

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CBN News
Efrem Graham

Efrem Graham

News Anchor & Reporter

Efrem Graham is an award-winning journalist, who comes to CBN News from the ABC owned and operated station in Toledo, Ohio.  He received his master's degree from the Columbia University Journalism School. He also holds a bachelor's degree in English Literature from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.  Follow Efrem on Twitter @EfremGraham and "like" him at Facebook.com/EfremGrahamCBN.