TODAY

TODAY   |  November 15, 2013

Obama: ‘We fumbled the rollout’ on health care

The president’s suggested fix – that insurers hold off on dropping the five million insurance policies that would be canceled under Obamacare – has insurance companies on the offensive. NBC’s Peter Alexander reports.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> top story. president obama over the health care roll out disaster. peter alexander is at the white house with the latest. good morning.

>> reporter: good morning to you. the president is the first to admit he has a lot of work ahead of him to regain the confidence of the american people . today is critical. we'll see whether his idea for a temporary fix to obama is enough to satisfy democrats with the house voting on proposed legislative changes to the law.

>> we fumbled the rollout on this health care law .

>> reporter: in the wake of the president's suggested fix the insurance industry is fuming.

>> i'm offering an idea to help do it.

>> reporter: the president's idea, ask insurers to hold off dropping 5 million insurance policies that have been cancelled because they don't cover everything mandated. emergency room visits, maternity, and mental health .

>> they should get the information technology hall of fame award. it's just one hell of a mess.

>> reporter: insurers that say they were not consulted about the president's request says mr. obama spaszing his problem like a hot potato on to them. it could result in higher premiums for consumers.

>> this fix won't solve every problem for every person but it's going to help a lot of people. doing more will require work with congress.

>> reporter: but today, dissatisfied house republicans vote on their own way forward, a plan to let americans that got cancellation letters keep current policies. insurers would also be allowed to sell new plans that don't comply with the affordable care act .

>> this bill will hopefully be able to ease some of the pain working families are feeling.

>> reporter: the president was contrite.

>> i did not have enough awareness about the problems in the website. again, that's on us which is why -- that's on me. and that's why i'm trying to fix it.

>> reporter: determination, even as president obama 's leadership comes under question.

>> i'm up to the challenge.

>> it's not just the future of the health care law at stake it's the future of his second term and his presidency.

>> reporter: one house democrat told nbc news, quote, someone's head ought to roll because of all of this. for the first time the president indicate there had will be an intense evaluation, savannah and willie, when everything is said and done to see how we got to this place.

>> top advisor this morning taking they're taking it deathly seriously.

>> you covered this white house for two and a half years, i cover it across the street on morning joe . it was a remarkable press conference. he said this was on me. he was humbled. i don't think we have seen this president obama .

>> even friends and admirers of the president don't use the word humble in description of him. this goes to the core not just that health care was part of his initiative but also the core of his political argument . he wanted to convince people that government can work to help people. government can be competent and this undermines that argument.

>> one of the most remarkable things that struck me yesterday is he said i didn't know beforehand that the website wasn't going to work. so his staff allowed him to go out time and again and say we're going to be fine and we're going to be ready on october 1st knowing there were problems in the pipeline.

>> you would love to hear the conversations going on behind closed doors and don't miss something else in the news conference, he said it was a week after the website was open before they even grasped how serious the problems were.

>> how quickly things change . less than a month ago today, the shutdown was here, some people writing the obituaries of the republican party , that story