Leading up to the president’s remarks on Obamacare, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and House Speaker John Boehner each held news conferences, which were both carried live on the cable news networks. Pelosi said her caucus was working on an Obamacare fix. A half hour later, Boehner said, it’s “time to scrap this law once and for all.”
20 minutes later, just after NoonET, President Obama gave his remarks in the White House briefing room, which were carried on the cable and broadcast networks. George Stephanopoulos anchored on ABC, Scott Pelley on CBS, Savannah Guthrie on NBC and Martha MacCallum on Fox.
As first reported by CNN’s Dana Bash, the president announced that insurers can extend current plans that would otherwise be cancelled in 2014. He also announced Americans whose plans have been canceled can choose to re-enroll in the same kind of plan.
The president then took questions, beginning with Julie Pace of the AP, who asked about the Obamacare snafu has further eroded the trust Americans have in their government. “It’s legitimate for them to expect me to win back some credibility on the health care law in particular and on a whole range of these issues in general,” he said.
Major Garrett of CBS News got the second question, and asked two. The first was along the same lines of Pace’s question, the second was about whether the president had been briefed on the pre-launch testing of healthcare.gov: “Had I been informed I wouldn’t have gone out and said, ‘this is gonna be great,’” said the president.
Stephen Collinson of the AFP got the third question and asked about negotiations with Iran.
Birthday boy Roger Runningen of Bloomberg News got the fourth question and asked whether the botched Obamacare rollout is because “you and your White House team are too insular.” “I’ve gotta say I meet with an awful lot of folks and talk to an awful lot of folks every day,” said the president.
Jeff Mason of Reuters asked about politics: “How concerned are you that this flawed roll out may hurt democrats in the midterm elections and your ability to advance other priorities such as immigration reform?” Obama: “I’ll let you guys do a lot of the work on what this means for various political scenarios.”
The president concluded at 12:54pmET.