Reed, Whitehouse say Obama's apology was appropriate

Rhode IslandSens. Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse said Friday that President BarackObama's apology was appropriate after his healthcare reform kicked millions ofpeople of their insurance.

Reed andWhitehouse are supporters of Obama and the healthcare reform he passed.

"What's importantis that the website get fixed," Reed said.

Reed and Whitehouse benefit from the fact that Rhode Island hasits own health exchange.

The state's stringent insurance mandates preventedsubstandard policies from even being on the market, so few of their constituentswill actually lose insurance.

However, a perception issue remains about the President's repeated promise that "if youlike your health plan, you can keep it - period." Millions were unable to dothat.

Obama made a stab at diffusing the criticism during an interviewon NBC News Thursday night.

"I am sorry that they are finding themselves in this situationbased on assurances they got from me," he said.

Whitehouse said he thinks it will blow over.

"(Keeping your health insurance) is true for 95 percent of people.And for the 5 percent for whom it's not true and particularly for the probably2 percent for whom there is not a better and cheaper alternative, I think theywere entitled to the apology. And I'm glad he made it and hope we can now moveon," he said.

Democrats around the country are going to be tied to Obama'sstatements come election time, but Whitehouse believes the promise will not behigh on voters' minds.

"I think the bigger concern is the botched website roll out. Andif they can get that fixed as they say by the end of the month, then you have awhole year until the election and people get to see the benefits. And thenyou've got an electoral piece of history rather than a live issue by then,"Whitehouse said.