Carney: Obama can't 'go back in time'

White House press secretary Jay Carney said President Obama couldn't "go back in time" as he was peppered with questions about whether the president regretted promising that Americans who liked their health insurance plans could keep them after the reform law was implemented. [WATCH VIDEO]

"The president, as awesomely powerful as the office is, can't go back in time," Carney said Tuesday.

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Carney conceded that "there is no question that this rollout has not gone as smoothly as we had hoped," but sidestepped repeated questions about whether the president had over-promised.

Instead, Carney said that the president's repeated guarantee that “if you like your healthcare plan, you can keep it" was in reference to the "broader promise of the Affordable Care Act."

"What the president is focused on is what we're all focused on, which is getting this right for the American people and getting it right for everyone so that the benefits of the Affordable Care Act, the improvements in the coverage that everyone will enjoy and the broader benefits for our economy because of the slower rate of growth in healthcare costs, come about and come into being," Carney said.

Millions of Americans have received letters stating that they cannot keep their current insurance plans because of ObamaCare.

Individuals who have purchased substandard insurance since the Affordable Care Act was signed into law, changed plans during that period or had their insurance companies significantly alter their plans are not eligible to keep their coverage.

Some insurance companies have also announced they will not continue to offer existing plans, saying that it is too burdensome to manage plans that do not satisfy basic coverage requirements mandated by ObamaCare.

Carney admitted there was "no question" that some who individually purchased insurance "are finding out that their plans because their insurance company pulled the rug out from under them sometime in the last few years, [they] aren't grandfathered in."

The White House spokesman also sidestepped a question about whether Obama had misled the public when he said earlier this year that individuals who already had health insurance did not have to do anything during the law's implementation.

"What the president was referring to was the broader promise of the Affordable Care Act that if you're on Medicare or Medicaid, if you, like probably most people in this room, have insurance through your employer, if you're a vet and you get coverage through the VA, you don't have to do anything," Carney said.