President Obama will address the Affordable Care Act—including the rocky rollout of healthcare.gov—in remarks from the White House scheduled for 11:25 AM ET. Live video is embedded above and we'll post updates throughout his remarks.
8:34 AM PT: President Obama has taken the podium.
8:35 AM PT: "About three weeks ago as the federal government shutdown, the Affordable Care Act marketplaces opened." Obama says: Now that the shutdown is over, we're going to try to get the marketplaces working better.
8:36 AM PT: Obama acknowledges that healthcare.gov hasn't worked as well as it was supposed to, but says it is nonetheless making coverage available to thousands of Americans. Obama says he wants to describe the benefits of Obamacare and what is being done to make healthcare.gov work better.
8:37 AM PT: Obama notes the ACA is "more than just a website." Trying to remind people that most of the people who benefit because of Obamacare don't actually get the benefits through the marketplaces, which are designed to allow individuals to shop for insurance.
8:39 AM PT: Obama also notes the Medicaid expansion of Obamacare—and praises governor who accepted Medicaid expansion. But: "If you're one of the 15 percent of Americans that doesn't have health insurance [...] October 1 was an important date. That's when we opened the new marketplaces [for these individuals ...]" Goes on to explain the theory behind marketplaces.
8:43 AM PT: Obama talks about how 20 million people have visited healthcare.gov without explicitly blaming the site's problems on the traffic, though in the absence of a competing explanation, people may draw the conclusion that the traffic is the reason for the issues, which is not the case.
8:46 AM PT: "The problem has been the website ... has not been working the way it should. ... I want people to get this great product [...] there's no excuse [...]" but are being "fixed." This is good stuff here—taking ownership.
8:47 AM PT: Obama reminds people that the enrollment period lasts through March 31. (However, to get coverage starting January 1, you need to sign up by December 15.)
8:51 AM PT: Obama repeats that the the site will be fixed, but also says there are ways to get coverage without using the site. "If you're having problems with the website, or" would just rather talk to someone on the phone, "yesterday, we've updated the web site" with information on how to do this. "The phone number for these calls is 1-800-318-2596."
8:51 AM PT: Obama says it takes 25 minutes to 45 minutes.
8:53 AM PT: "Nobody is madder than me that the website isn't working as well as it should, which means it's going to be fixed."
8:56 AM PT: Obama notes that given the website problems, Republicans may attack, but: "We did not wage this long and contentious battle over a website." We did it, he said, to provide the security of good and affordable health insurance.
8:57 AM PT: "It's time for folks to stop rooting for its failure."
9:00 AM PT: Shorter President Obama: The website sucks, but we'll fix it, and it's worth it to fix it, because affordable, quality health insurance is essential for all Americans.
9:03 AM PT: In some ways, it doesn't even matter what President Obama said today, because to the extent that the debate is over whether or not healthcare.gov is working, it means the debate over Obamacare has moved into the technocratic realm. And the debate is in the technocratic realm, it suggests we're moving beyond a purely ideological battle—and that the idea that everybody ought to have access to affordable, quality health care is no longer the central issue.