tv Eyewitness Noon News CBS November 14, 2013 12:00pm-12:30pm EST
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hello again. >> i'm don. we begin with breaking news on the belt way were three pedestrian have been struck. good afternoon jeff? >>reporter: you can see the huge police response on the belt way. this is after bel air road. there is a vehicle that appeared to crashed into the back of a highway administration vehicle. it's unconfirmed at this point but there is one fatality and 3 pedestrian that have been struck. the road like -- block is a mile before this. most of the traffic has stopped.
some of the traffic has been able to exit at bel air. bel air road and 43 have been shut down due to 3 pedestrian being struck. back to you. >> thank you very much. we'll have more on this breaking story at 4, 5 and 6. president obama is addressing the affordable care act. daniel reports from wjz from capital hill. >>reporter: president obama is changing a key provision. allowing 5 million american to keep their insurance policy. this happened after wide spreed
-- spreed spread issues with people wanting to keep their insurance. the government expected 80% more people to keep their insurance. >>reporter: republicans are much more critical. >> before i do i want to say a few words about the tragedy that has unfolded in the philadelphia over the past few days all of us have been shaken by the devastation. it's a heartbreaking reminder of how again -- short life is. one of our core principals is when friends are in trouble
friends help. the u.s. will continue offering whatever assistance we can. our military person nail and aid team do this better then any one in the world. they have helped with air lift. today the ussa car -- carrier gorge washington came today. more help is on the way. america streight has been more about what our government can do but our citizen. the big hearts of the american people. today i would encourage everyone who wants to help visit the white house website and that will offer links to
organization working on the ground. our friends in the philippines will face a long hard road ahead. switching gears. it's been 12 weeks sings the affordable care act website has open. it has been rough so far. everyone understands that i'm not happy that the roll out has been, you know, had a whole lot of problems i have been deeply concerned about. today i want to talk about what we have learned and what we are doing to improve the law. yesterday the white house announced in the first month 100,000 enrolled in new insurance plans. is that a high number as we look. absolutely not.
it does mean people want affordable healthcare. the problems with the website have stopped too many americans from completing enrollment. in the first month nearly 1 million people completed a cap indication for them self- -- application for themselves or families. of those 1.5 million people. 106,000 people have gotten covered. 396 have been able to get medicaid. americans who are having a difficult time, who are poor. many of them working may have a disability. they are americans just like any one else. the fact that they are not able
to get insurance. later i'll be in ohio where the governor has expanded the medicaid. if every governor followed suit another 5.4 million people will be able to have access next year. the bottom line in just one month despite all of the problems we have seen with the website more then 500,000 americans could know the security of health care. many for the first time in their lives, that's life changing. that still leaves about 1 million americans who have successfully made it through the website now qualified to by insurance and haven't picked a plan yet. there is no question if the website were working like it was suppose to that it would be a larger number. that's problem number one.
making sure the website is working properly. it has gotten better and we are working 24-7 to get it working. the other problem that has received a locality of attention are more than -- from american who have received letters that they will lose the plans because they no longer meet the laws requirements. as i indicted earlyier i know how upsetting this can be for a lot of americans.
that's called a grandfather clause included in the law. today we'll extend that to people's who plans have changed since the law has taken effect and those who have brought plans since the law has taken effect. lans can and can't be sold in their states, but the bottom line is insurers can extend current plans that would otherwise be canceled into 2014 and americans whose plans have been canceled can choose to reenroll in the same kind of plan. we're also requiring insurers to extend current plans to inform their customers about two things, one, that protections -- what protections these renewed plans don't include. number two, that the marketplace
offers new options with better coverage and tax credits that might help you bring down the cost. so if you received one of these letters, i'd encourage you to take a look at the marketplace. even if the website isn't moving as smoothly as it should be for everybody else, the plan comparison tool that lets you browse costs for plans near you is working just fine. 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, and i've said from the beginning i'm willing to work with democrats and republicans to fix problems as they arise. this is an example of what i was talking about. we can always make this law work better. it is important to understand, though, that the old individual market was not working well. and it's important that we don't pretend that somehow that's a place worth going back to. too often it works fine as long
as you stay healthy, and it doesn't work well when you're sick. year after year americans were routinely exposed to financial ruin or denied coverage due to minor pre-existing conditions or dropped from coverage altogether even if they paid their premiums on time. that's one of the reasons we pursued this reform in the first place. and that's why i will not accept proposals that are just another brazen attempt to undermine or repeal the overall law and drag us back into a broken system. we will continue to make the case even to folks who choose to keep their own plans, but they should shop around in the new marketplace because there's a good chance that they'll be able to buy better insurance at lower costs. we're going to do everything we can to help the americans who have received these cancellation notices, but i also want everybody to remember there are still 40 million americans who don't have health insurance at all. i'm not going to walk away from 40 million people who have the chance to get health insurance
for the first time. i'm not going to walk away from something that has helped the cost of health care grow at its slowest rate in 50 years. we're at the opening weeks of the project to build a better health care system for everybody, a system that will offer real financial security and peace of mind to millions of americans. it is a complex process. there are all kinds of challenges, i'm sure there will be additional challenges that come up. it's important that we're honest and straightforward in terms of when we come up with a problem with these reforms and laws, that we address them. but we've got to move forward on this. it took 100 years for us to even get to the point where we could start talking about and implementsi implementsing a law to make sure everybody got health insurance. my pledge to the american people is that we're going to solve the problems that are there, we're going to get it right and the
affordable care act is going to work for the american people. with that i'm going to take your questions, and i'm going to start with julie pace of a.p. >> the concerns over the policy cancellations has sparked a lot of worry within your own party. polls show you're taking hits with the public in your overall job approval rating and on factors like trust and honesty. do you feel as though the flawed health care rollout has led to a breach in the public trust and confidence in government? if so, how do you plan to resolve that? >> there is no doubt that people are frustrated. we just came out of a shutdown and the possibility that for the first time in over 200 years we wouldn't pay our bills. people breathed a sigh of relief when that finally got done. the next thing they mow is the president's health care reform can't get the website to work and that there are these other problems with respect to
cancellation notices. i understand why folks are frustrated. i would be, too, because sometimes people look at what's taking place in washington and they say not enough is getting done that helps me with my life. regardless of what congress does, ultimately i'm the president of the united states and they expect me to do something about it. so in terms of how i intend to approach it, i'm just going to keep working as hard as i can around the priorities that the american people care about. i think it's legitimate for them to expect me to have to win back some credibility on this health care law in particular and on a whole range of these issues in general. that's on me. we fumbled the rollout on this
health care law. there are a whole bunch of things about it that are working really well which people didn't notice because they weren't controversial, so making sure kids can stay on their parents' plans until they were up through the age of 25, making sure seniors got more discounts on the prescription drugs. there was a whole bunch of stuff we did well over the first three years. but we always knew that these marketplaces, creating a place where people can shop and through competition get a better deal for the health insurance that their families need, we always knew that that was going to be complicated and everybody is going to be paying a lot of attention to it. we should have done a better job getting that right on day one, not on day 28 or on day 40. i am confident that by the time we look back on this next
helping a lot of people. but my intention in terms of winning back the confidence of the american people is to work as hard as i can. identify the problems we've got. make sure we are fixing them, whether it's a website, whether it is making sure that folks who have these cancellations notices get help. we are going to keep on chipping away at this until the job is done. >> thank you, mr. president. you say while it was being debated, you can keep it. you said after the wall was being signed, if you like your plan, you can believe it. americans believed you when you said that to them over and over. do you not believe, sir, the american people deserve a deeper, more transparent accountability to you as to why you said that over and over when
your own statistic alerted your policy staff, and i presume you, the fact billions of americans would fall into the very gap you're trying to administratively fix now? that's one question. second question. several people in this building were informed two weeks before the launch of the website it was failing the most basic tests internally. a decision was made to launch the website october 1st. did you make that test and did you regret that? >> on the website, i was not informed directly that the website would not be working. had i been informed, i wouldn't go out saying, boy, this is going to be great. i'm accused of a lot of things, but i don't think i'm stupid enough to go around saying this is going to be like shopping on amazon or travelocity a week before the website opens if i thought it wasn't going to work.
clearly we and i did not have enough awareness about the problems in the website, even a week into it. the thinking was these were some glitches that would be fixed with patches as opposed to broader systemic problems that took longer to fix and we are still working on them. that doesn't excuse the fact they don't work, but no, we would not have rolled out something knowing very well it wasn't going to work the way it was supposed to, begin all the scrutiny we knew would be on the website. with respect to the pledge i made if you like your plan, you can keep it. i think and i've said in interviews there is no doubt the way i put that forward unequivocal, ended up not being accurate. it was not because of my
intention not to deliver on that commitment, that promise. we put a grandfather clause into the law. it was insufficient. keep in mind that the individual market accounts for 5% of the population. when i said you can keep your health care, i'm looking at folks who have employer-based health care, folks who have medicare and medicaid. and that accounts for the vast majority of americans. then for people who don't have any health insurance at all, obviously that didn't apply. my commitment to them was you are going to get affordable health care the first time. you have an individual market that account for 5% of the population. all working assumption was, my working assumption was, that the majority of those folks would find better policies at lower costs or the same costs in the
marketplaces. and that the universe of folks who would not find a better deal in the marketplaces, the grandfather clause would work sufficiently for them. and it didn't. again, that's on us. that's on me. that's why i'm trying to fix it. as i said earlier, i guess last week and i will repeat, that's something i deeply regret because it's scary getting a cancellation notice. it is important to understand out of that population, typically, there is constant churn in that market. this market is not very stable and reliable for people. so people have a lot of complaints when they're in that marketplace. as long as you're healthy, things seem to be going pretty good. so a lot of people think i've
got pretty good insurance, until they get sick and then suddenly they look at the fine print and they've got a $50,000 out of pocket expense they can't pay. we know that on average over the last decade, each year premiums in that individual market would go up an average of 15% a year. i know that because when we were talking about health care reform, one of the complaints was, i bought health care in the individual market and i just got a notice from the insurer they dropped me after i had an illness or my premiums skyrocketed by 20% or 30%, why aren't we doing something about this? part of what our goal has been is to make sure that that individual market is stable and fair and has the kind of consumer protection that makes sure that people don't get a rude surprise when they really need health insurance. but if you just got a
cancellation notice and you're thinking my prices are pretty good, you haven't been sick, and it fits your budget, and now you get this notice, you're going to be worried about it. if the insurers are saying the reason you're getting this notice is because of the affordable care act, then you're going to be understandably aggravated about it. for a big portion of those people, truth is they might have got a notice saying we are jacking up your rates by 30%. they might have said from here on out we are not going to cover xy and z illnesses. these were all 12-month policies. the insurance companies were under no obligation to renew the exact same policies you had before. one of the things i understood when we decided to reform the health insurance market, part of the reason why it hasn't been done before and it's very difficult to do is that anything
that's going on that's tough in the health care market, if you initiated a reform, can be attributed to your loss. what we want to do is be able to say to these folks, the affordable care act is not going to be the reason why insurers have to cancel your plan. what folks may find is the insurance companies may still come back and say we want to charge you 20% more than we did last year. or we are not going to cover prescription drugs now. that's in the nature of the market that existed earlier. >> did you decide, sir, the simple declaration was something the american people could handle and the couldn't trust the american people with the fuller truth? >> no. i think as i said earlier, major, my expectation was that or 98% of the american people,
either it genuinely wouldn't change at all or they would be pleasantly surprised with the options in the marketplace. and that the grandfather clause would cover the rest. that proved not to be the case. that's on me. and the american people, those who got cancellation notices do deserve and have received an apology from me. they don't want just words. what they want is whether we can make sure that they are in a better place and that we meet that commitment. by the way, i think it's very important for me to note that there are a whole bunch of folks up in congress and others who made this statement and they were entirely sincere about it. the fact that you've got this percentage of people who had this impact, i want them to know that their senator or
congressman, they were making representations based on what i told them and what this white house and our administrative staff told them, so it's not on them, it's on us, but it is something we intend to fix. steve. >> do you have reason to believe that iran would walk away from nuclear talks if congress draws up new sanctions? would a diplomatic breakdown at this stage leave you no option but military action? how do you respond to your critics when they say it was only tough sanctions that got iran and tougher sanctions will make it capitulate? >> let me make a couple of points. number one, i said before and i will repeat, we do not want iran having nuclear weapons. and it would be not only dangerous to us and our allies, but it would be destabilizing to the entire region and could
trigger a nuclear arms race that would make life much more dangerous for all of us. so our policy is iran cannot have nuclear weapons. i'm leaving all options on the table to make sure that we meet that goal. point number two. the reason we've got such vigorous sanctions is because i and my administration put in place when i came into office the international structure to have the most effective sanctions ever. so i think it's fair to say i know a little bit about sanctions since we set them up and made sure that we mobilize the entire international community so that there weren't a lot of loopholes and they really had bite. the intention in setting up those sanctions always was to bring the iranians to the table so that we could resolve this issue peacefully because that is my preference.
that's my preference because any armed conflict has cost to it. it's also my preference because the best way to ensure that a country does not have nuclear weapons is that they are making a decision not to have nuclear weapons and we are in a position to verify they don't have nuclear weapons. so as a consequence of the sanctions that we put in place and i appreciate all the help bipartisan help we received from congress in making that happen. iran's economy has been crippled. they had a negative 5% growth rate last year. their currency plummeted. they're having significant problems in just the day-to-day economy on the ground in iran. and president ruhani made a decision he was prepared to come and have a conversation with the
international community about what they could do to solve this problem with us. we now had a series of conversations and it has never been realistic that we would resolve the entire problem all at once. what we have done is seen the possibility of an agreement in which iran would halt advances on its program, that it would dilute some of the highly enriched uranium that makes it easier for them to potentially produce a weapon. that they are subjecting themselves to much more vigorous inspections so that we know exactly what they're doing in all their various facilities, and that that would then provide time and space for us to test over a certain period of months whether or not they are prepared to actually resolve this issue
to the satisfaction of the international community, making us confident that, in fact, they are not pursuing a nuclear weapons program. in return, the basic structure of what's been talked about, although not completed, is that we would provide very modest relief at the margins of the sanctions that we set up. importantly, we would leave in place the core sanctions that are most effective and have most impact on the iranian economy. specifically, oil sanctions and sanctions with respect to banks and finances. what that gives us is the opportunity to test how serious are they, but it also gives us an assurance if it turns out six months from now they are not