Yielding to mounting pressure from the public, as well as both sides of the aisle about the turbulent start to his signature health plan, Obama conceded to allow individuals to keep their health plan through 2014, regardless of whether their coverage meets new standards set by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The decision will allow insurers to continue to sell individual health insurance plans that would otherwise have been cancelled by the end of the year, while also preventing Obama from reneging on his promise that everyone can keep their health plan if they choose to do so.

“The roll out has been rough so far. I’m not happy at the fact that [it] has been wrought with a whole range of problems,” Obama said at an impromptu White House press conference. “I said that [we] would do everything we can to fix this problem, and today I’m offering an idea that would help do it.”

The president proposed expanding the health care law’s "grandfather clause," which allows people to keep plans that predate the ACA if those plans haven’t changed. Now that exception will apply to people whose plans have changed since the law took effect, as well as to people who bought plans since the law’s implementation.

“State insurance commissioners still have the power to decide what plans can and can’t be sold in their states,” Obama explained. “But the bottom line is insurers can extend current plans [into 2014] that would otherwise be cancelled.”

This will allow Americans to re-enroll in the very plan that they were informed would be terminated — but with two caveats: The renewed plans must inform the consumer about the protections they don’t include and they must notify the consumer about better coverage and tax credits that are available through the marketplace that could lead to greater cost-savings.

“If you received one of these [cancellation] letters,” Obama urged,” I’d encourage you to take a look at the marketplace even if the website isn’t working as smoothly as it should be for everybody yet.”

“This fix won’t solve every problem for every person but it will help a lot of people,” Obama continued. “The old individual market was not working well and it’s important to pretend that that is somehow a place worth going back to.”

The decision comes in the midst of fellow Democrats in the House signaling profound dismay with the low enrollment figures that the government released this week, which was a tally that was far lower than originally predicted; a little over 100,000 Americans signed up through the Affordable Care Act’s HealthCare.gov website in October when millions are expected to.

“Is that as high a number as we like? Absolutely not,” Obama told the press. But the President was quick to point out that the number still reflects the high demand for affordable health care.

The Department of Health and Human Services reported that close to a million people managed to verify their eligibility for government subsidies toward their new health plan but fell short of selecting one. Obama verified that almost 400,000 people are now eligible for Medicaid thanks to the new law.

“There’s no question that if the website was working as it’s supposed to, that number would be much higher,” Obama conceded. “We’re working 24/7 to get it working for a vast majority of Americans in a smooth and consistent way.”

As the government’s health insurance website has suffered from systemic snafus hundreds of thousands of Americans were notified that their health plans will be cancelled due to not meeting newly implemented standards. This has created upheaval among House Democrats who fear political fallout as the 2014 mid-term elections approach.

As a result, Democrats demanded that the president act swiftly to resolve the situation by offering an alternative to Friday’s vote on a Republican bill that will let people maintain their current health plan through 2014 without penalty. A few moderate and red state democrats threatened to go along with the bill if there was no alternative.

“I completely get how upsetting this could be for a lot of Americans, particularly after hearing assurances from me that if they had a plan that they like they could keep it,” Obama said. “To those Americans: I hear you loud and clear.”

Obama will also visit Ohio today, where Governor Kasich (a Republican) opted for Medicaid expansion that will benefit up to 275,000, according to Obama. “If every governor followed suit,” he said, “another 5.4 million Americans could gain access to health care next year.”

“In just one month, despite all the problems we’ve seen with the website, more than 500,000 Americans could know the security of health care by January 1st — many for the first times in their lives,” the president noted.