Obama says 'sorry' to Americans losing health insurance

President Barack Obama speaks at Boston's historic Faneuil Hall about the federal health care law on Oct 30, 2013. Mr Obama said on Thursday he was "sorry" for Americans who had insurance plans cancelled because of his health care law, even thou
President Barack Obama speaks at Boston's historic Faneuil Hall about the federal health care law on Oct 30, 2013. Mr Obama said on Thursday he was "sorry" for Americans who had insurance plans cancelled because of his health care law, even though he had promised they would not. -- FILE PHOTO: AP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - President Barack Obama said on Thursday he was "sorry" for Americans who had insurance plans cancelled because of his health care law, even though he had promised they would not.

"I am sorry that they are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me," Obama told NBC News in an interview.

Mr Obama's mea culpa came amid a controversy over his repeated assurances that if Americans liked their existing health insurance plans, they could keep it under his signature health care reform.

Thousands of Americans have since received notices from their health insurance companies that their policies will be cancelled.

The White House defended Mr Obama by saying that the policies were scrapped because they did not comply with more stringent standards required by Obamacare and that those who lost policies would be able to buy better coverage under new health exchanges.

"We've got to work hard to make sure that they know we hear them and we are going to do everything we can to deal with folks who find themselves in a tough position as a consequence of this," Mr Obama said in the interview.