Obama: Must help people enroll by mail, in person

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Associated Press

Posted on November 18, 2013 at 8:03 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 19 at 4:01 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is urging his supporters to help Americans enroll for health insurance by mail, in person and over the phone.

He says the error-riddled HealthCare.gov website can't be the only way for people to purchase insurance through new exchanges.

He says it turns out that purchasing insurance is complicated and not everyone will use the website. But he says he's still confident the website will work for most Americans by Nov. 30.

Obama spoke on a conference call organized by Organizing for Action, a private group backing his agenda. He says the health law's opponents are pushing misinformation about it. But he's asking activists to continue fighting to promote the law.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

The White House says 20 percent of Americans won't make it through the website to buy health insurance through new exchanges.

The Obama administration is scrambling to fix the malfunctioning website by Nov. 30. But White House spokesman Jay Carney says there will still be 1 in 5 who will start the process online but won't be able to purchase insurance.

Carney says technical problems are only one reason. Some won't be comfortable using a computer to buy insurance. For others, their tax situation is too complicated for the website to determine eligibility for subsidies.

Carney says trained navigators and call centers can better serve those individuals.

He says the White House is also considering other channels to help people get enrolled, such as direct sign-ups through insurance companies.

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