President Obama admitted to business executives in a speech on Tuesday his administration will need to “rebrand and re-market” the Affordable Care Act. Speaking at a forum sponsored by the Wall Street Journal, he confessed that he “underestimated the complexities” of building an online marketplace to sell healthcare insurance.
Obama added that he was worried that there may not be enough young and healthy enrollees signing up, resulting in what some refer to as a death spiral for the system. He said, “We might end up, you know, having millions of people sign up, they’re happy with their new coverage, but we’ve got more people who are older, more likely to get sick than younger and healthier.”
The President took the opportunity to speak to other issues including the economy and immigration reform. Referring to himself as a “congenital optimist,” he feels that he can work with Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) who already has abandoned the likelihood of a comprehensive immigration bill. Obama would accept a “chopped” up version of the bill if it embodied the “core values” that have been previously discussed.
Also coming up soon will be the debt ceiling debate, which Obama referred to as “set up like a loaded gun.” Obama hopes Congress can put partisan behavior out-of-the-way: “If we can get beyond the tactical advantages that parties perceive in painting folks as extreme and trying to keep an eye always on the next election, and for awhile at least, just focus on governing, then there is probably 70 percent overlap on a whole range of issues.”