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Nov 19, 2013

Obama was briefed in spring on widespread website problems

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama, who has portrayed himself as surprised by technical problems with the government’s new health care website, was briefed last spring on a detailed consultant’s report that warned of system failure, White House spokesman Jay Carney said on Tuesday.

Carney said the president’s familiarity with the report and recommendations by McKinsey & Co did not contradict previous statements from the White House that described Obama as surprised by the scope of flaws in HealthCare.gov since it opened for people to enroll for insurance coverage on October 1.

Nov 18, 2013

Obama to update Senate leaders on Iran talks on Tuesday

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama will meet with Senate leaders from both parties on Tuesday ahead of international talks this week on Iran’s nuclear program and as senators weigh whether to impose new sanctions on Tehran, the White House said.

Iran and six major world powers are due to meet again on Wednesday in Geneva to discuss a proposal that would ease sanctions on Tehran if it suspends some parts of a nuclear program the United States and others suspect is aimed at developing atomic weapons.

Nov 14, 2013

An apologetic Obama unveils fix on health law

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Thursday tried to ease the biggest crisis of his presidency, acknowledging missteps with his signature healthcare law and announcing a plan to help those seeing their current health plans canceled because of it.

Obama, trying to limit the political damage to his presidency and fellow Democrats, said health insurers could extend by at least one year policies due to be canceled because they do not comply with new minimum requirements under the law.

Nov 14, 2013

Republicans seek more HealthCare.gov testimony from White House

WASHINGTON, Nov 13 (Reuters) – Republicans on the House
Oversight Committee have asked President Barack Obama’s current
and former top healthcare advisers to testify next week on the
rocky rollout of Obamacare, but the White House has so far not
agreed to the idea.

Darrell Issa, the chairman of the committee, and Jim Jordan,
who chairs one of its subcommittees, asked the White House to
allow Jeanne Lambrew, a senior White House official responsible
for healthcare policy, to appear at a Nov. 20 hearing.

Nov 13, 2013

White House tech chief says ‘making progress’ fixing HealthCare.gov

WASHINGTON, Nov 13 (Reuters) – Top government information
technology officials were set to testify to Congress on
Wednesday that they were making headway on fixing
HealthCare.gov, the broken website used to sign up for President
Barack Obama’s signature health insurance program.

Obama has pledged that the website will work smoothly for
most people by the end of the month – a critical deadline for
Americans who need to sign up for insurance benefits that would
start on Jan. 1.

Nov 13, 2013

Obama tech chief to testify in Congress about healthcare website

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A top White House technology adviser will testify at a congressional hearing on Wednesday about the troubled launch of the website at the heart of President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare reform despite the administration’s assertions that he was too busy.

The White House confirmed late on Tuesday that Todd Park, its chief technology officer, would comply with a subpoena to testify at a hearing of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives Oversight Committee.

Nov 13, 2013

With a nudge from Bill Clinton, Democrats seek to tweak health law

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The growing pressure on President Barack Obama to adjust his problem-plagued healthcare law seemed to boil over on Tuesday, as leaders of Obama’s Democratic Party called on him to allow a change in the law so that Americans who are happy with their health plans could keep them.

In what became the clearest sign yet of Democrats’ increasing anxiety over the troubled rollout of the healthcare law, former President Bill Clinton told the web magazine Ozymandias that Obama should support such a change to fulfill a promise he and his administration have made to Americans for years.

Nov 9, 2013

White House tech expert gets subpoena to testify on HealthCare.gov

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee issued a subpoena on Friday to compel Todd Park, the chief technology officer at the White House, to testify at a hearing next week about what went wrong with the Obamacare website.

The White House called the subpoena “unfortunate and unnecessary” and said that Park was busy fixing the website. The White House earlier had said he was willing to appear voluntarily in December.

Nov 8, 2013

Obama: regrets not ‘as clear as we needed to be’ on Obamacare pledge

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama apologized on Thursday to Americans who are losing their healthcare insurance policies, saying in an interview that he regrets that “we weren’t as clear as we needed to be” about Obamacare healthcare reforms.

Obama’s expression of regret was aimed at placating Americans whose insurance plans are being canceled in spite of his oft-repeated pledge that if people liked their health plans, they would be able to keep them under Obamacare.

Nov 7, 2013

Obama gets earful from Senate Democrats about health law woes

WASHINGTON/DALLAS (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Wednesday met with frustrated Senate Democrats, some of whom fear the disastrous rollout of his signature healthcare law could complicate their already difficult re-election fights in 2014.

The Obama administration has faced intense criticism since hundreds of thousands of people have seen their health insurance policies canceled because they do not meet new benefit requirements, despite Obama’s pledge that Americans could keep their current plans under Obamacare.

    • 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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