The Ottumwa Courier

AP National

October 23, 2013

Obama appeals to allies to stick with health law

(Continued)

As the administration races to fix the website, it's deploying the president and top officials to urge his supporters not to give up.

"By now you have probably heard that the website has not worked as smoothly as it was supposed to," Obama said Tuesday in a video message recorded for Organizing for America, a nonprofit group whose mission is to support Obama's agenda. "But we've got people working overtime in a tech surge to boost capacity and address the problems. And we are going to get it fixed."

Whether through the website or other, lower-tech means, the administration needs millions of Americans to sign up through the exchanges for the law to succeed. While the website has become an easily maligned symbol of a law that Republicans despise, Obama said it's important Americans realize that "Obamacare," with its various patient protections, is much more.

"That's why I need your help," Obama told OFA's supporters.

The group has been organizing a multitude of events and social media campaigns around the health care law's implementation. OFA said those efforts will continue, but the group isn't adjusting its strategy in response to the website's issues.

Obama has turned to longtime adviser Jeffrey Zients to provide management advice to help fix the system. Zients, a former acting director of the Office of Management and Budget and a veteran management consultant, will be on a short-term assignment at HHS before he's due to take over as director of Obama's National Economic Council next year.

Meanwhile, Vice President Joe Biden and top White House officials held a call with business leaders Tuesday about the health law and other issues. Business Forward, a trade group friendly to the White House, said the administration asked the group to invite leaders to hear directly from Biden.

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Follow Josh Lederman at http://twitter.com/joshledermanAP

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