WASHINGTON (AP) President Barack Obama says he's sorry Americans are losing health insurance plans he repeatedly said they could keep under his signature health care law. But the president stopped short of apologizing for making those promises in the first place.

'I am sorry that they are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me,' he said in an interview Thursday with NBC News.

He added: '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.'

For years, Obama and his advisers promised that Americans who liked their health insurance could keep it, even as the sweeping overhaul of the nation's health insurance market took effect. However, the law mandated that insurance must meet certain standards, and that coverage falling short could not be sold except through a grandfathering process, meaning some policies were always expected to disappear.

At least 3.5 million Americans have been issued cancellations, but the exact number is unclear.

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