- The Washington Times - Friday, December 20, 2013

President Obama said Friday that he “screwed it up” in the rollout of his health care law, though he said the system is now working much better and hundreds of thousands of people have been able to sign up for coverage.

Entering his sixth year of office, Mr. Obama said he believes 2014 can be “a breakthrough year” for Americans who have struggled for the last five years with a recession and sluggish economy, and a Washington ensnared by gridlock.

In an end-of-year press conference at the White House, Mr. Obama said the latest economic numbers are good and said that despite the problems with the rollout of his health care law, more than 1 million people have signed up for coverage over the last three months.

“All told, millions of Americans, despite the problem with the website, are now poised to be covered by quality health insurance coverage come New Year’s Day,” he said.

And despite taking a victory lap on the economy, Mr. Obama also called for Congress to pass more benefits for the long-term unemployed, and chastised lawmakers for taking off for a Christmas vacation without acting.

After a year in which his Obamacare rollout was botched, his administration was staggered by a series of scandals and his popularity plummeted, Mr. Obama was asked if 2013 was his worst year as president.

“That’s not how I think about it,” he said. “We have had ups and we have had downs. My polls have gone up and down a lot during the course of my career.”

The president said his biggest frustrations were not getting Congress to approve tighter gun restrictions and not approving comprehensive immigration reform.

“I took this job to deliver for the American people,” he said.

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