Correspondent, U.S. health team leader
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Dec 3, 2013

Retooled Obamacare website traffic surges but problems remain

By David Morgan and Lewis Krauskopf

(Reuters) – A surge of visitors clogged the U.S. government’s revamped healthcare insurance shopping website on Monday, signaling that President Barack Obama’s administration has a way to go in fixing the portal that showcases his signature domestic policy.

Facing its first big test since officials proclaimed over the weekend that they had met their deadline to make run smoothly for the “vast majority” of users, the site performed markedly better than it did during its disastrous launch two months ago – but was still short of the crisply running insurance marketplace Obama once touted.

Dec 2, 2013

Obamacare website faces new tests as traffic builds

By David Morgan and Lewis Krauskopf

(Reuters) – President Barack Obama and his website face another critical test this week, as Americans who have been unable to enroll for health insurance coverage rush to a site that continues to face challenges.

While the administration said it met its weekend deadline for making the website operate smoothly for most users, it must prove can handle a surge of enrollment as non-profit groups begin efforts to reach consumers before a December 23 deadline for coverage that begins January 1.

Dec 1, 2013

Obama administration says achieves key goal of fixing

By David Morgan and Lewis Krauskopf

(Reuters) – Two months after the disastrous launch of a key component of President Barack Obama’s healthcare law, administration officials on Sunday said they had achieved their goal of getting operating smoothly but warned the website will need more fixes.

Obama’s specially appointed adviser Jeffrey Zients said a five-week emergency “tech surge” had doubled the capacity of the online health insurance portal while making it more responsive and less prone to errors.

Nov 28, 2013

The second coming of Obamacare website – will it work?

Nov 28 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s healthcare law
is facing its biggest test this weekend since its disastrous
Oct. 1 launch, as Americans find out whether the administration
has met a self-imposed deadline to fix its insurance shopping

Another major outage of glitch-ridden could
spell more political trouble for the president, who was forced
to apologize for the botched rollout and admit burdening
Democratic Party allies in their bids for re-election to
Congress in 2014.

Nov 23, 2013

Sotheby’s top auctioneer leaving amid investor pressure

By Lewis Krauskopf and Svea Herbst-Bayliss

(Reuters) – Tobias Meyer, Sotheby’s (BID.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) chief auctioneer, is leaving the auction house, the company said on Friday, just a week after Sotheby’s recorded the highest sale in its history.

The departure of Meyer, the worldwide head of contemporary art, comes as Sotheby’s is being pressured by activist investors including Daniel Loeb to improve its business strategies and earn more money for shareholders.

Nov 22, 2013

California exchange rejects extension of Obamacare-canceled plans

By Lewis Krauskopf and Caroline Humer

(Reuters) – California’s new health exchange will not allow canceled policies to extend past the end of the year, defying President Barack Obama’s effort to repair his pledge that people can keep their current plans.

The announcement on Thursday by the most populous U.S. state, an early supporter of Obama’s Affordable Care Act, marked the latest state to reject the president’s fix, which he announced last week after taking political fire for not keeping his promise to allow people to keep their plans if they like them.

Nov 21, 2013

Insurance commissioners raise concerns about healthcare fix with Obama

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – State insurance commissioners told President Barack Obama on Wednesday that his effort to stem a wave of insurance cancellations caused by his signature healthcare law could lead to higher premiums.

Obama met with representatives from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners to discuss the “fix” he came up with last week to calm the uproar surrounding millions of cancellation notices sent to holders of individual health insurance policies no longer legal under the healthcare law, known as Obamacare.

Nov 20, 2013

Early Obamacare data show older Americans more apt to sign up

By Lewis Krauskopf

(Reuters) – More older Americans than young adults so far have signed up for new insurance coverage under the state marketplaces created by President Barack Obama’s healthcare law, according to early data from four states reporting details on their enrollment.

The age balance is being closely watched to determine the financial stability of the insurance market created by the Affordable Care Act, as the participation of younger people is needed to offset costs for sicker beneficiaries. To ensure that younger people sign up, the law requires individuals to pay a penalty if they do not have health coverage.

Nov 15, 2013

GE plans to spin off credit card unit to shrink finance arm

NORWALK, Connecticut (Reuters) – General Electric Co (GE.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) plans to spin off part of its North American retail finance business next year as a separately traded public company in a long-term attempt to generate less profit from the volatile financial sector and more from manufacturing.

As part of the move, which Chief Executive Jeff Immelt hinted at earlier this year, GE said on Friday it will float about 20 percent of the retail finance unit in the initial public offering.

Nov 14, 2013

Obamacare ‘fix’ creates new headaches, say insurers and regulators

NEW YORK, Nov 14 (Reuters) – Insurers and state regulators
say they fear that President Barack Obama’s “fix” for policies
canceled under his healthcare reform law could create new
problems and lead to an increase in premiums.

Facing pressure by lawmakers from his Democratic Party,
Obama said on Thursday that insurers could extend by a year
policies that were due to be canceled in 2014 because they do
not comply with higher standards of benefits and other
requirements under the 2010 law, commonly called Obamacare.

    • About Lewis

      "I help coordinate coverage of healthcare companies for Reuters in the United States. I also cover health insurers, pharmacy benefit managers, generic drugmakers and pharmaceutical companies."
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