Slatest PM: The Day in Obamacare Apologies, Glitches, and Fights

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Oct. 30 2013 5:06 PM

Slatest PM: The Day in Obamacare Apologies, Glitches, and Fights

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President Barack Obama headed to Boston Wednesday to tout his landmark healthcare law

Photo by Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Obama's Trip to Beantown: Associated Press: "Declaring himself 'not happy' with health care enrollment problems, President Barack Obama said Wednesday he takes 'full responsibility' for resolving the computer problems that have bedeviled the administration and undermined a key step in the health care law. ... Obama chose to address both the benefits and the difficulties of the health care law in Massachusetts, where the state's health care coverage provided the model for the federal health insurance overhaul. The president cited early problems with the Massachusetts law as he tried to lower expectations for the initial enrollment in the federal system. ... The president pointed to benefits already available under the 3-year-old health care law, including ending discrimination against children with pre-existing conditions and permission to keep young people on their parents' insurance plans until they turn 26. But he conceded the troubled launch of the open enrollment period that began Oct. 1. 'There's no excuse for it,' he said."

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Sebelius' Long Day on the Hill: New York Times: "Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services, apologized Wednesday for the frustration that millions of Americans have experienced while trying to shop for insurance on the HealthCare.gov website, even as she defended the problem-plagued rollout of President Obama’s health care law and tried to explain the cancellation of hundreds of thousands of individual insurance policies. ... Sebelius said she was ultimately responsible for 'this debacle,' including the website’s problems. But she said that a government contractor, Verizon’s Terremark unit, was responsible for outages that disrupted the website on Sunday and again on Tuesday."

Well That's Awkward: Washington Post: "New problems emerged Wednesday with the implementation of President Obama’s health-care law even as ... Sebelius assured lawmakers that 'miserably frustrating' problems with a nearly month-old health-insurance Web site would soon be fixed. The Web site, HealthCare.gov, was down again most of the morning while Sebelius was testifying before a House committee. And new security issues with the site were raised Wednesday after an internal memo obtained by The Washington Post and other media outlets showed that, days before the Web site’s launch, administration officials knew it put the privacy of user data at risk."

It's Wednesday, October 30th, welcome to the Slatest PM. Follow your afternoon host on Twitter at @Dan_Gartland, and the whole team at @Slatest.

Clinton's Senate Fan Club: ABC News: "All of the female Democratic senators signed a secret letter to Hillary Rodham Clinton early this year encouraging her to run for president in 2016 – a letter that includes the signature of Sen. Elizabeth Warren and other senators who are mentioned as potential candidates, two high-ranking Democratic Senate aides told ABC News. The letter, organized at the urging of Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., was meant to be a private show of support from a group of 16 high-profile former colleagues and fans who are now senators, urging Clinton to do what much of the Democratic Party assumes she will, the aides said. The existence of the letter was not revealed publicly until this week, when Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., mentioned it at an event in New York City on Monday. That was an apparent slip-up that prompted a round of apologetic e-mails from her Senate office to other offices on Capitol Hill, according to the aides."

Late-Night Cruz: Variety: "Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) ... will make his first late night TV appearance on Nov. 8 when he guests on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Cruz’s appearance reflects the increasingly common trend of political figures, no matter how controversial, venturing into late night, often in hopes of softening their image or reaching audiences normally not tuned in to politics. ... In a press release, NBC said that Cruz will discuss the government shutdown, the debt ceiling, Washington gridlock and the state of the Republican party."

China Makes Arrests in Tianenmen Crash: NBC News: "Five people were arrested in relation to a fiery car crash in Beijing's iconic Tiananmen Square that killed five people and injured 40, police said early Wednesday. Police said the five were caught just 10 hours after the attack with help from the local government in the restive western province of Xinjiang. Labeling it a 'terrorist attack,' a police spokesman said Usmen Hasan, his mother Kuwanhan Reyim, and his wife Gulkiz Gini, drove a jeep with a Xinjiang plate into a crowd of people at noon on Monday, state news agency Xinhua reported. The attack, which took place near the main entrance of the Forbidden City, was 'carefully planned, organized and premeditated,' he said."

Rand Paul Opposes Yellen for Fed Chair: CBS News: "Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., will block the nomination on the Janet Yellen to become the chair the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve unless Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., agrees to allow a vote on his own legislation to audit the Fed. "The American people have a right to know what this institution is doing with the nation's money supply. The Federal Reserve does not need prolonged secrecy--it needs to be audited, and my bipartisan Federal Reserve Transparency Act will do just that," Paul said in a letter released Tuesday night."

That's all for today. See you back here tomorrow. Until then, tell your friends to subscribe or simply forward the newsletter on and let them make up their own minds.

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