John's Feed
Dec 24, 2013

The painful path to Obamacare deadline

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Tuesday is a moment of truth for Obamacare.

It marks the final deadline for most Americans to sign up for health insurance under President Barack Obama’s 2010 Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare, if they want coverage starting on January 1.

If enough people – and the right mix of young and old – do not enroll, the ambitious program designed to provide health benefits to millions of uninsured and under-insured Americans risks eventually unraveling.

Nov 26, 2013

In California, a vision of Republicans’ challenge on immigration

CERES, California (Reuters) – For most Republicans in the U.S. Congress, a large gathering of Hispanic voters to discuss immigration would be politically perilous – an invitation to complaints about the party’s longtime resistance to measures aimed at helping undocumented immigrants.

But when Republican Rep. Jeff Denham walked into a meeting with hundreds of his Hispanic constituents at a church in California’s Central Valley this month, he was met with applause, praise and a hand-lettered “Thank You” sign.

Nov 6, 2013

Analysis: Election results ensure Republican Party feud will play on

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – For deeply divided Republicans, Tuesday’s elections in New Jersey and Virginia did little to resolve the ongoing feud between hardline conservatives and establishment pragmatists who worry the party is drifting too far to the right to win statewide and national elections.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s easy re-election in a mostly Democratic state was an emphatic statement about voters’ attraction to Republicans who talk about reaching across party lines. It also solidified Christie as an early favorite in the campaign for the 2016 Republican U.S. presidential nomination.

Oct 24, 2013

Cruz calls shutdown fight good for conservatives

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The bitter budget fight in Congress that shuttered the U.S. government this month was a success for conservatives even though various polls indicate it damaged them politically, Republican Senator Ted Cruz said on Thursday.

Cruz – a ringleader of conservative Republicans’ push to hold up government funding to try to weaken Democratic President Barack Obama’s healthcare law – told the Reuters Washington Summit that although the effort did not yield changes to “Obamacare,” it did ignite Tea Party grassroots activists and intensify scrutiny of the law.

Oct 23, 2013

Obama turns to trusted aide for ‘tech surge’ to fix healthcare website

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama turned to a trusted adviser on Tuesday to lead a “tech surge” aimed at repairing the troubled launch of the government website at the heart of his signature healthcare law.

Jeffrey Zients, a former official of the Office of Management and Budget who will become head of the National Economic Council in January, will provide short-term management advice on the project, said Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Oct 22, 2013

Obama turns to top aide in ‘tech surge’ to fix health care website

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Tuesday turned to a trusted advisor to lead a “tech surge” aimed at repairing the troubled launch of the government website at the heart of his signature healthcare law.

Jeffrey Zients, a former Office of Management and Budget official who will become head of the National Economic Council in January, will provide short-term management advice and counsel on the project, said Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Oct 22, 2013

McCain: ‘Obamacare’ website woes could help Republicans

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The troubled launch of Democratic President Barack Obama’s healthcare website could give Republicans a chance to regain some of the political ground they lost during the recent government shutdown, Republican Senator John McCain said on Monday.

The Arizona senator, a vocal critic of conservative Republicans who held up government funding for 16 days while demanding changes to Obama’s healthcare law, said the federal shutdown was devastating to many people in his state. Republicans “have our work cut out for us” to improve their image after polls indicated that more Americans blamed them for the fiscal impasse, he said.

Oct 19, 2013

Hillary Clinton hits campaign trail, endorses McAuliffe in Virginia

FALLS CHURCH, Virginia (Reuters) – Hillary Clinton returned to the campaign trail on Saturday to endorse old friend Terry McAuliffe in the Virginia governor’s race, urging voters to reject the “scorched earth” politics that led to the recent government shutdown.

At her first overtly political appearance since leaving her post as secretary of state in February, the former Democratic senator and first lady said the outcome of the bitter governor’s battle would show whether voters were ready to choose common sense over ideology.

Oct 18, 2013

Americans find little to cheer in deal to end fiscal crisis – Reuters/Ipsos poll

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Most Americans found little to cheer in the congressional deal to reopen the government and avoid a national default, and Republicans suffered the biggest political damage in the crisis, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Friday.

Nearly one-third of Americans – 32 percent – were dissatisfied with the agreement to end the fiscal impasse and 40 percent were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied. Only 28 percent were satisfied with the outcome.

Oct 18, 2013

Americans find little to cheer in deal to end fiscal crisis: poll

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Most Americans found little to cheer in the congressional deal to reopen the government and avoid a national default, and Republicans suffered the biggest political damage in the crisis, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Friday.

Nearly one-third of Americans – 32 percent – were dissatisfied with the agreement to end the fiscal impasse and 40 percent were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied. Only 28 percent were satisfied with the outcome.

    • About John

      "John Whitesides has covered U.S. politics, elections and Congress for 13 years, based in Washington. He joined Reuters in Asia, where he worked as an editor and correspondent in Hong Kong."
    • Follow John