Carney: Obamacare "Not Failing," "Shouldn't Be About Making Heads Roll Or Firing People"


PIERS MORGAN, CNN: Many people calling for Secretary Sebelius to resign. Your predecessor, Mr. Gibbs, has come out and said heads should roll. At what point, if this continues, say we're in, I don't know, six weeks time, or two months time, and you're having the same amount of difficulty with the system, at what point do you consider a head rolling?

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: It shouldn't be about making -- having heads roll or firing people, Piers. I mean, it is -- the Senator whose comments you broadcast earlier, you know I think, we know that there have been opponents of Obamacare. I mean, Republicans, Ted Cruz in particular, not John McCain, but Ted Cruz led a campaign to shut the government down over his opposition to Obamacare. And remember what that means -- that's opposition to a plan and program that will provide affordable health insurance to millions of Americans --private sector health insurance through these marketplaces.

MORGAN: I agree with you. You haven't got to persuade me. My position is that it is frustrating for your the supporters, like me and others, I don't agree with all of Obamacare, but I broadly agree with the ethos behind it. I come from a country where everybody gets free health care if they want it.

I totally subscribe to the ethos of what you're doing, but there has to be a point, a limit to the president's patience on his flagship program, the one that many believe may be his great legacy. But if the system designed to facilitate it continues to fail, someone has got to be accountable, if it is not him, who is it going to be?

CARNEY: Absolutely. But the accountability he's looking for is the accountability of making sure that everybody who has expertise in this matter is focused on fixing it, not focused on, you know, making heads roll. That's not the time right now to focus on that. The time is to get these problems fixed, make sure the system is working most efficiently for the American people. That is what his focus is on right now. Not on pointing fingers of blame, but making sure it works. It's clear, as the president said in the Rose Garden, that no one is more frustrated than he is by the fact that the website hasn't been working effectively as it should have.

Part of that has been driven by the enormous volume, the enormous levels of interest that exceeded our expectations. And that volume itself has caused problems with the website and the volume has exposed other problems. And again, there is a tech surge focused on fixing that. But I want to take issue with one point that you made because the system is not failing. Hundreds of thousands of Americans are submitting their applications successfully to get into the system and enroll in Obamacare. And they're doing it through a variety of means, through state exchanges, through the federal exchanges, and through, through the call-in center and that's going to continue. And those are the people that matter, the people who are getting affordable health insurance for the first time. And, you know, you have seen the anecdotes. Even the people who have struggled with the website, when they get through and they get what they are looking for, it is extremely -- it is enormously meaningful to them because health insurance provides security that a lot of these families haven't had in the past.

Show commentsHide Comments

Latest Political Videos

Video Archives