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Nov 12, 2014

U.S. calls its Ebola response the right strategy at home, abroad

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration tried to assure skeptical members of the U.S. Senate on Wednesday that its efforts to combat Ebola were showing progress and urged lawmakers to approve $6.2 billion in new emergency funds to contain the deadly virus.

“We believe we have the right strategy in place, both at home and abroad,” U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell told the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Nov 12, 2014

HealthCare.gov may work better, but challenges loom for Obamacare customers

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The technology glitches may be a thing of the past. But people shopping online for health insurance plans under U.S. President Barack Obama’s healthcare law may encounter a new set of problems early next year, one of them being unexpected new costs.

HealthCare.gov, the federal website where people enroll for insurance under the Affordable Care Act, opens for sign-ups for policies covering 2015 this Saturday, the so-called open enrollment period.

Nov 10, 2014

U.S. releases low 2015 Obamacare enrollment forecast

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. administration on Monday dramatically cut expectations for 2015 Obamacare enrollment, saying it aims to have a total of 9.1 million people enrolled in government-backed federal and state health insurance marketplaces next year.

The stated goal, 30 percent lower than a Congressional Budget Office forecast of 13 million enrollees, reflects the government’s latest thinking about new enrollees and returning customers, according to officials who expect the actual number to fall between 9 million and 9.9 million.

Nov 2, 2014

U.S. Senate win could give Republicans a chance to weaken Obamacare

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – After years of trying to repeal Obamacare, Republicans are planning a new strategy to eliminate some of the law’s most unpopular provisions by using targeted legislation with the potential to attract enough Democratic votes to reach President Barack Obama’s desk.

First they have to pick up the six seats they need for a U.S. Senate majority in Tuesday’s midterm elections, which would give the party control of both congressional chambers for the first time since 2006.

Oct 31, 2014

Republicans question preparedness spending after Ebola missteps

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Texas Republicans, including Tea Party-backed U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, sought to ratchet up the pressure on the Obama administration’s Ebola response on Friday, by questioning its use of federal tax dollars for emergency preparedness.

In a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell, the lawmakers said they were concerned about missteps in the Dallas Ebola case of Thomas Eric Duncan, which they said occurred after large sums of federal money were spent to help U.S. cities prepare for infectious diseases.

Oct 27, 2014

U.S. CDC says returning Ebola medical workers should not be quarantined

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Federal health officials on Monday called for voluntary home quarantine for people at the highest risk for Ebola infection but said most medical workers returning from West Africa would require daily monitoring without isolation.

The announcement by Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ran counter to the mandatory quarantines being imposed on returning doctors and nurses by a handful of states including New York and New Jersey.

Oct 24, 2014

Two US states to quarantine health workers returning from Ebola zones

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York and New Jersey will automatically quarantine all medical workers returning from Ebola-hit West African countries, and the U.S. government is considering the same step after a doctor who treated patients in Guinea came back infected, officials said on Friday.

The steps announced by the two states, which go beyond the current restrictions being imposed by the U.S. government on travelers from Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea, came as medical detectives tried to retrace the steps of the infected physician, Dr. Craig Spencer.

Oct 24, 2014

U.S. considering quarantine for returning Ebola health workers: CDC

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration is considering quarantining healthcare workers returning to the United States from the Ebola hot zone of West Africa, after a New York doctor who treated Ebola patients there tested positive for the virus.

Tom Skinner, a spokesman for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told Reuters on Friday that quarantine is among a number of options being discussed by officials from across the administration.

Oct 24, 2014

Republicans take aim at U.S. Ebola response as 4th case emerges

WASHINGTON, Oct 23 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s
response to Ebola ran into fresh criticism from Republicans in
Congress on Friday, as the emergence of a fourth U.S. case in
New York City heightened public anxiety about the potential
spread of the virus.

Darrell Issa, the California Republican who chairs the House
Oversight Committee, blasted what he described as a “bumbling”
administration response characterized by missteps and
ill-considered procedures to protect U.S. healthcare workers at
home and troops in West Africa.

Oct 17, 2014

Obama open to appointing Ebola ‘czar,’ opposes travel ban

WASHINGTON, Oct 16 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said
on Thursday that he was considering appointing an Ebola “czar”
to coordinate the fight against the virus in the United States
but he remained opposed to a ban on travel from West Africa.

Obama’s administration is under growing criticism from
lawmakers over its efforts to contain the disease at home. Obama
authorized calling up military reservists for the U.S. fight
against Ebola in West Africa on Thursday.

    • About David

      "David Morgan has covered news from Wall Street and Fleet Street to the White House, the Pentagon and Congress, including politics, macroeconomics, military affairs, corporate finance, U.S. intelligence, national security and the international markets. He has also reported from Atlanta on the rise of American conservatism, civil rights, homegrown terrorism and the Olympics, and helped chronicle the Sept. 11 attacks and their aftermath from Philadelphia, New York and Washington."
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