Los Angeles Times: Nearly 700,000 Applications Completed At Heatlhcare.Gov, Officials Say
Nearly 700,000 applications for health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act have been completed, administration officials said Thursday, although they would not release data on how many people successfully enrolled in insurance plans despite problems with the online marketplace. The updated figure comes as administration officials tried to respond to complaints and finger-pointing from the contractors who built the troubled website, www.healthcare.gov (Hennessey, 10/24).
The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire: Health-Insurance Applications Near 700,000
Nearly 700,000 Americans have completed applications for health insurance using federal and state insurance marketplaces, an Obama administration spokeswoman said Thursday, trying to parry characterizations of the health-law rollout as a failure and a disaster. Thursday was the first of what the administration says will be daily briefings by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS, the agency in charge of the problem-plagued HealthCare.gov website (Dooren, 10/24).
The Washington Post: State Insurance Boards Frustrated With Obamacare Technical Glitches
Commissioners responsible for overseeing insurance industries in states relying on the federal government to run health-care exchanges are hearing from consumers who can't log into Web sites, and some aren't hearing back when they call Washington for answers. At the same time, the Department of Health and Human Services says its Web site, HealthCare.gov, is working better every day. More than 700,000 applications have been completed, many through the Web site, according to a department spokeswoman (Wilson, 10/25).
The New York Times: In White House Pitches, Rosy View Of Health Care Site
Just days before HealthCare.gov went live with disastrous results, top White House officials were excitedly briefing lawmakers, reporters, Capitol Hill staff members and Washington pundits on their expectations for the government's new health care Web site. … In fact, the rosy presentations set President Obama up for even more criticism when the portal was swamped by millions of people who quickly found out they could not log on. The technical problems that emerged have raised questions -; still not entirely answered -; about how much the president's aides knew, or should have known, about the site's troubles (Shear and Stolberg, 10/24).
The Washington Post: Maryland Shelves Educational Workshops For Small-Business Health Insurance Exchange
It isn't just the federal health insurance exchange that is running into problems. Some of the state-run exchanges are facing their own setbacks -; including the one in Maryland. State health officials, who already missed the federal government's deadline to launch an insurance exchange for small businesses, have quietly nixed plans to hold informational sessions this month to educate employers about their soon-to-open insurance marketplace (Harrison, 10/24).
Politico: Democrats' United Front Cracks
The great Democratic unity of 2013 held for five-and-a-half days. For weeks leading up to the shutdown -; and over the 16 days it dragged on -; President Barack Obama did the unthinkable: he held every Democrat in the House and Senate together. There weren't any defectors. There wasn't even anyone running to reporters to question his strategy. The man who'd disappointed them so many times was suddenly exciting them, with his newly apparent backbone and successful resistance to Republicans. They were rushing to do whatever they could to stand by him, next to him, with him (Dovere, 10/25).
The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire: More Democrats Seek Delay In Health-Law Penalty
More Democrats called for a delay in a core element of the federal health law, with two senators blasting the Obama administration's rollout of a health-insurance website and its response to public criticism. Sen. Kay Hagan (D., N.C.), who is up for re-election in 2014, said in a Thursday statement that the $95 penalty on individuals who fail to enroll in a health insurance plan should be waived for two months. That penalty starts at $95 for 2014 tax returns. A few hours earlier, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D., Conn.) said in a television interview that the U.S. needs to consider delaying the penalty, which as at the heart of the 2010 law designed to prod Americans without health insurance into buying coverage (Hughes, 10/24).
This article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.