President Obama fires back over health care law criticism

Posted at: 11/07/2013 1:07 PM
By: Tracie Potts, NBC News

Photo: NBC News

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NBC News) -- Lawmakers who met with President Obama about the troubled healthcare website say he was visibly frustrated over how long it's taking to fix it.

That frustration spilled over in Texas, where the President said states complaining about his health plan shouldn't criticize it.

Today, the Administration is announcing new money to help people who don't have insurance see a doctor and sign up for health plan, once the website is working.

Today the White House announces 150 million in grants to community health centers to treat more than a million new patients.

It's part of the health law that President Obama says has him frustrated because the website to buy insurance isn't working properly. "This is like having a really good product in a store, but the cash registers aren't working and they're not enough parking one can get in the door," said President Barack Obama.

He chided Texas for not supporting the plan. Texas has more uninsured than any other state. "They're leaving a million people right now without health insurance that they could immediately fix," said President Barack Obama.

"People's lives depend on this," said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

On Capitol Hill, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was grilled about whether Americans can keep their existing health plans. "No more excuses. No more spin. Just give us the truth," said Senator Orrin Hatch, (R) Utah.  

She admitted early enrollment numbers will be low.

One person who was able to sign up: Alaska Senator Mark Begich, but he's still giving the white house grief. "They might not return my calls all of the time because I'm yelling at them all the time about some of the issues," said Senator Mark Begich, (D) Alaska.  

And we've learned the top information officer for Health and Human Services resigned, but it's not clear whether that's related to the website failure.