White House spokesperson David Simas attempted to whitewash drastic technical issues with the Obamacare website Monday on CNN's The Lead.
Host Jake Tapper asked Simas several times if the website will be fixed by December 15th or the March deadline for individuals to purchase insurance.
Simas did his best to reroute his answers, continually repeating that the alternative methods of phone and paper registration will be available for consumers prior to the deadlines:
TAPPER: […] You didn't answer my question. Will the website be up and running, can you promise by December 15th or the by March deadline, either one of the dates, can yes or no, can you promise?
SIMAS: So Jake, yes, between the website and all of the other ways that people have to sign up —
TAPPER: That wasn't really the question.
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SIMAS: But here's the reality. Any American over the course of the next six months who either doesn't have insurance or is on the individual market, between the website service that prior to october 1st didn't exist, a 1-800 number prior to October 1st that didn't exist, navigators and the ability to do it on their own, they can get insurance and will.
TAPPER: David, you won't even say whether or not it will be fixed by March.
SIMAS: Jake, I did. I said —
TAPPER: No, you said the phone service will be working.
SIMAS: Jake, I said that the main purpose of the Affordable Care Act is not a website. It's to make sure that any American who is either uninsured or in the individual market has options to get insurance. That will happen. That's our sole focus and that's what we're going to do.
Simas' embarrassing effort to deflect attention from what may be larger technical issues with healthcare.gov followed another rough outing on Obamacare for White House Press Secretary Jay Carney earlier today: