Obama vows to fix health care signup problems

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WASHINGTON (AP) — A lot of people who've been trying to register for the online insurance exchanges that are part of President Barack Obama's health care law have been frustrated by computer problems -- but Obama says nobody is more frustrated about it than he is.

Speaking at a Rose Garden event today, Obama said he's confident the administration will be able to fix the problems. He guaranteed that everyone who wants to get insurance through the new exchanges will be able to do so, even if they have to enroll over the phone or fill out a paper application.

People have until the end of March to sign up for coverage.

The White House says more than 19 million people have visited HeathCare.gov since the site went live at the beginning of this month. Although administration officials have acknowledged issues with software and some elements of the system's design, they have repeatedly cited high consumer interest as among the factors overwhelming the website.

Republicans, meanwhile, are stepping up their criticism of the health care law. Sen. Mike Johanns of Nebraska says overhauling the website won't fix what he says is the "underlying fact" that the health care law isn't "workable."

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189-w-34-(Mark Smith, AP White House correspondent, with Janice Baker of Selbyville, Del., and President Barack Obama)--President Obama is urging Americans to be patient as experts try to fix the flawed federal website that handles signup for coverage under his health plan. AP White House Correspondent Mark Smith reports. (21 Oct 2013)

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177-a-13-(President Barack Obama, speaking to backers of his health care overhaul)-"save you money"-President Obama says his message to Americans is - be patient. (21 Oct 2013)

<<CUT *177 (10/21/13)££ 00:13 "save you money"

176-a-10-(President Barack Obama, speaking to backers of his health care overhaul)-"the problems fixed"-President Obama says he's confident the technical issues can be worked out. (21 Oct 2013)

<<CUT *176 (10/21/13)££ 00:10 "the problems fixed"

GRAPHICSBANK: Barack Obama, as US President, speaking about health care reform in the White House Rose Garden, Washington, DC, graphic element on gray (21 Oct 2013)

APPHOTO WHCD106: President Barack Obama gestures while speaking in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Monday, Oct. 21, 2013, on the initial rollout of the health care overhaul. Obama acknowledged that the widespread problems with his health care law's rollout are unacceptable, as the administration scrambles to fix the cascade of computer issues. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak) (21 Oct 2013)

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