Open enrollment has begun under the Affordable Care Act — also known as Obamacare — and the kickoff has generated tremendous interest from Americans. But there’s still a lot of confusion about how the enrollment process actually works.
This week, millions of people flocked to Heathcare.gov, the program’s main website, to find out more about the options. That website then directs people to online insurance marketplaces where they can sign up for health insurance based on the state they live in.
The large number of people trying to access the website led to outages and delays caused by the unexpectedly high traffic volume.
The Obama administration hopes 7 million people will sign up for insurance during the 2014-2015 year, and more than 1 million Americans visited Healthcare.gov before 7 a.m. ET on the first day of enrollment alone.
By Sam Stein
WASHINGTON — If the government shuts down in the absence of a budget agreement, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would be unable to support its seasonal influenza program that monitors the spread of flu, the Obama administration has announced.
The program is part of a series of initiatives that the CDC undertakes to spot and ultimately limit the spread of disease. Vaccine manufacturers have produced 135 million to 139 million doses of flu vaccine for this season. And while vaccine planning is a critical CDC function at risk of being stalled by a shutdown, it is far from the only one.
The CDC also would be unable to provide “technical assistance, analysis, and support to state and local partners for infectious disease and surveillance,” according to a Department of Health and Human Services memo about the effects of a possible government shutdown. Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration would be “unable to support the majority of its food safety, nutrition, and cosmetics activities,” including some basic compliance and enforcement functions.
THE WASHINGTON POST
By Eugene Robinson, Opinion Writer
The Obama administration keeps undermining its own case for a punitive strike in Syria. If the president wants permission from Congress and support from the American people, he and his aides had better get their story straight.
The “messaging,” to use an unfortunate Washington term, has been confusing, contradictory and halfhearted. The nation simply will not approve going to war if its leaders cannot coherently explain what they want to do, how they plan to do it and why.
Secretary of State John Kerry threw mud into turbid waters Monday when he said the attack would be an “unbelievably small, limited kind of effort.” This punch line came at the end of a string of similar assurances: no “troops on the ground,” nothing “prolonged,” merely a “very targeted, short-term” affair.
But if the attack is designed to be so limited, why bother? Why not just send a special envoy to give Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad a stern talking-to, followed perhaps by a reassuring hug?
BY SY MUKHERJEE
Politico reported Tuesday evening that Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s (R) administration is in negotiations with the Obama White House to accept about $100 million in federal money to implement an Obamacare Medicaid program to help elderly and disabled Americans.
Perry has been a heated opponent of the health law. He refused to accept $100 billion in federal funding to expand Texas’ Medicaid program under Obamacare, which could have helped 1.5 million poor Texans afford basic health benefits. As recently as April, Perry essentially called the expansion a joke. “Seems to me April Fool’s Day is the perfect day to discuss something as foolish as Medicaid expansion, and to remind everyone that Texas will not be held hostage by the Obama administration’s attempt to force us into the fool’s errand of adding more than a million Texans to a broken system,” said Perry.
Now, Perry is seeking federal dollars for Texas’ Medicaid program anyway.
There’s just one problem . . .
Posted: Monday, June 24, 2013 12:00 am
BOGOTA, Colombia The three Latin American countries said to be helping Edward Snowden flee from American authorities are united in their opposition to the Obama administration and pursue foreign policy objectives designed to counter U.S. influence.
As Snowden, the intelligence contractor who disclosed documents about U.S. surveillance programs, arrived in Moscow from Hong Kong on Sunday, Russian media reported that he was booked on a flight to the Cuban capital of Havana, and from there on to Caracas, Venezuela.
Before a counterterrorism address, the Obama administration disclosed for the first time the drone deaths Wednesday.
I could not find the details of the President’s TV appearance at 5 AM today. Sorry. Reuters reported that there will a change in drone policy. NBC NEWS says Obama will talk about justification for drone strikes and security for our ambassadorial staffs around the world.
THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW
By Michael O’Brien, Political Reporter, NBC News
Under increasing scrutiny from congressional Republicans, the White House on Wednesday released copies of emails and other additional supporting documents related to its response to last fall’s attack on a U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya.
The White House released the materials in the wake of Republicans’ clamor for more information about how the Obama administration crafted its explanation for the incident, which came at the height of last year’s campaign season, and resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens.
The emails convey different parts of the administration — the White House, the State Department, and the CIA — trading drafts of talking points for use not just by representatives of the administration, but also by members of Congress.
As the Obama administration girds for “glitches and bumps” along the path to full implementation of the health-care law, a new poll indicates many Americans are still unclear about the details of the new law and, in some cases, unaware it’s actually law of the land.
A whopping 42 percent of Americans do not know that the Affordable Care Act is, in fact, law. Included in that 42 percent — 12 percent believe it has been repealed by Congress, 7 percent think the U.S. Supreme Court overturned it, and 23 percent are unsure of its status, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation health tracking poll.