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Republicans attack president’s ‘phoney apology’ over Obamacare rollout


Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “Republicans attack president’s ‘phoney apology’ over Obamacare rollout” was written by Martin Pengelly in New York, for theguardian.com on Saturday 16th November 2013 15.31 UTC

Obamacare once again dominated the Republican oppposition's weekly address on Saturday despite President Barack Obama's attempt to move the debate on to energy policy in his own address. While the president chose to discuss domestic oil production and energy efficiency, the GOP maintained its critical focus on his signature domestic reform, the Affordable Care Act. Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, the sponsor of a Senate bill to let people keep their existing healthcare plans, called Obama's acknowledgement of a "fumble" over the rollout of his healthcare reforms a "phoney apology".

"It was like telling someone you're sorry their dog died, but refusing to acknowledge you ran over the dog," Johnson said. "Sorry Mr President, it didn't work. Millions of Americans are coming to realise that those are your tyre tracks on their cancelled policies."

Obama delivered his address a day after his administration announced lower quotas for the biofuel ethanol in gasoline, in a concession to the US oil industry. Obama said: "After years of talk about reducing our dependence on foreign oil, we are actually poised to control our own energy future."

By contrast, in his address, Johnson focused squarely on the problems of the president's healthcare reform. "We need long-term solutions to the Obamacare debacle," he said, "not short-term political fixes like those recently proposed by the president and Senate Democrats that simply will not work.

"Unfortunately, the implementation of Obamacare has progressed to a point where millions of cancelled plans cannot be reinstated. But the freedom of millions of Americans to keep doctors, treatments and health plans they do value can still be preserved if Congress acts swiftly and decisively."

This week has been another difficult one for the administration, in which the president offered a one-year extension to the more than 4 million people whose current health policies are being cancelled under the terms of the Affordable Care Act, a development which Republicans have repeatedly attacked.

Before the Obamacare rollout, which has been riddled with technical and political problems, the president repeatedly said that under the reforms, no one would lose their insurance plan if they wanted to keep it.

Johnson maintained the GOP's recent line of attack, saying such promises had been "fully vetted, coldly calculated and carefully crafted" by the administration.

"Those assurances weren't slight exaggerations or innocent shadings of the truth," he said. "It was a political fraud echoed relentlessly by House and Senate Democrats who should be held accountable for the disastrous consequences of their grand deception."

Obama has not addressed the issue of healthcare reforms in either of his last two Saturday addresses – last week he simply marked Veterans Day weekend.

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About Carl William Brown

I'm Carl William Brown a holistic teacher, a webmaster, a trader, and a writer of aphorisms and essays. I have written more than 9,000 original quotations and at present I'm also working at my only novel, Fort Attack, which is also a wide and open blog project. At the moment I'm teaching English in a secondary school, but up to now I have done a lot of other things as well, both in business, educational, sport and social fields. Some years ago, in 1997 following the examples of the Rotary or the Lyons Clubs I founded the Daimon Club Organization to promote every sort of activities, creativity, art, literature, new technologies, informatics, business and marketing, public health and education and to meet new friends with these kind of interests.
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