The Herald Bulletin

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November 7, 2013

In Texas, Obama offers health care pep talk

DALLAS — Beset by hard-to-keep promises and a massive website failure, President Barack Obama traveled to the heart of the "Obamacare" opposition Wednesday to give a pep talk to the law's supporters.

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.

"As challenging as this may seem sometimes, as frustrating as healthcare.gov may be sometimes, we are going to get his done," Obama said.

"And when we do — when we do, not if — when we do, you're going to have families all across this great state of Texas who are going to have the security and the well-being of high-quality, affordable health insurance," he added.

The trip to Texas comes as his administration seeks to mitigate the damage from the website glitches and from a public outcry over a promise he repeatedly made — if you like your insurance, you can keep it — that turned out to be incorrect for millions of Americans.

Before leaving Washington on Wednesday, Obama tried to soothe the concerns of 16 Senate Democrats facing re-election next year during a two-hour White House meeting. Many of those lawmakers are worried that the problem-plagued rollout could negatively affect their races.

Highlighting the law's benefits at Dallas Temple Emanu-El, Obama encouraged participation in the marketplaces set up by the law. He said nothing drives him crazier than knowing there's good insurance available — if only the website would work properly.

"This is like having a really good product in a store, and the cash registers don't work, and there aren't enough parking spots," Obama said.

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