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Oct 29, 2013

Obama under attack as Americans losing prior health plans

WASHINGTON, Oct 29 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama is
facing fresh attacks for his pledge that Americans who like
their current healthcare plans can keep them under Obamacare, as
reports pile up of thousands of Americans facing cancellation
notices.

Accusations that the pledge was misleading are potentially a
deeper threat to Obama than the website glitches that have
plagued Healthcare.gov since its Oct. 1 launch and allowed only
a trickle of people to sign up on new federal insurance
exchanges.

Oct 26, 2013

Sebelius finds a silver lining in Obamacare ‘data hub’

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, besieged by bad news about the new government health care website, sought on Saturday to highlight a portion of the complex system that she said is working well.

The website, designed to let millions of uninsured Americans shop and enroll in health insurance, has been plagued by delays and error messages since it rolled out on October 1, embarrassing President Barack Obama as his administration scrambles to fix the problems.

Oct 26, 2013

After tough week, White House buys time for Obamacare website fix

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama promised on Saturday that his troubled healthcare website was just weeks away from a cure as he struggled to convince Americans he is on top of what has become a self-inflicted wound to his signature first-term achievement.

His administration unveiled a plan on Friday to make Obamacare insurance marketplaces on healthcare.gov – a website riddled with error messages, long delays and bugs – work better by the end of November.

Oct 25, 2013

Obama’s tech expert becomes target over healthcare website woes

By Roberta Rampton and Sarah McBride

(Reuters) – Todd Park has gone from steering his healthcare information technology company through a blockbuster IPO to occasionally sleeping on a mat in his office while working to repair the troubled new U.S. government healthcare website.

Park, the chief technology officer for the White House and a top advisor to President Barack Obama, now finds himself among a handful of officials with targets on their backs as Republicans try to root out who is responsible for this month’s glitch-ridden rollout of Healthcare.gov.

Oct 23, 2013

White House official fired over anonymous tweets

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A senior White House official who was helping negotiate nuclear issues with Iran has been fired after being unmasked as the acidic voice behind a Twitter account known for its insults of public figures at the White House and on Capitol Hill, a government official said on Tuesday.

Jofi Joseph was director of nuclear non-proliferation on the White House National Security Council staff, but for more than two years sent hundreds of anonymous and abrasive tweets using the handle @NatSecWonk.

Oct 17, 2013

Obama, Italy’s Letta compare notes on budget woes

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama and Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta congratulated each other on Thursday for surviving extended budget crises and pledged to work together to advance U.S.-EU trade talks and address security issues.

The two leaders met at the Oval Office on the day after Congress agreed to fund the U.S. government until January and averted a debt default by lifting the nation’s debt ceiling until February. The U.S. government reopened after a 16-day shutdown.

Oct 17, 2013

Obama says Washington has much work to do to regain public trust

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama emerged bruised but victorious from the latest budget war on Wednesday and said there was much work to do in a deeply divided Washington to win back the trust of the American people.

Obama’s firm stance against negotiating over extending the U.S. debt ceiling, a position he staked out early this year and stuck to despite pressure to back off, appeared to have paid off as Congress was heading toward reopening the government and extending the U.S. debt ceiling.

Oct 15, 2013

Obama backs Health Secretary Sebelius despite ‘Obamacare’ woes

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama has “full confidence” in Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius despite the troubled launch of the U.S. government website for signing up for his signature healthcare insurance program, the White House said on Tuesday.

Americans trying to shop for health insurance at healthcare.gov under Obama’s healthcare law have been frustrated by error messages, long waits and system failures, with many failing to make it through the system despite repeated tries.

Oct 14, 2013

Squirrels relish White House kitchen garden as shutdown sidelines staff

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – In the famous White House kitchen garden, tomatoes are rotting on the vine. Herbs have gone to seed. And the sweet potatoes – a favorite of President Barack Obama – have become worm food.

It’s another impact of the government shutdown, one that only the fox and the many squirrels that live on the White House grounds could love.

Oct 14, 2013

U.S. senators close in on fiscal deal as deadline looms

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. senators said they were closing in on a deal Monday that would reopen the government and push back a possible default for several months, though many hurdles remained as a Thursday deadline drew near.

Ahead of a meeting with President Barack Obama, the Senate’s top Democrat and top Republican both said they were optimistic that they could soon reach an agreement that would allow them to avert a looming default and end a partial government shutdown that has dragged on for 14 days so far.

    • About Roberta

      "Based on Capitol Hill, I help cover U.S. energy and environmental policy. I have reported on commodities since 1995, and have been with Reuters since 2002, moving to Washington from Canada in 2008."
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