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Jan 9, 2014

Obama meets lawmakers ahead of intelligence reform decisions

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama met with 16 lawmakers on Thursday to discuss reforming how U.S. intelligence agencies collect telephone and internet data after damaging revelations by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

“This meeting was an opportunity for the president to hear from the members about the work that they have been doing on these issues since they last met, and solicit their input as we near the end of our internal review,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters at a briefing.

Jan 8, 2014

Obama targets poverty in San Antonio, Philadelphia and other U.S. ‘zones’

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama is set to speak on Thursday about how he will target job creation, housing, law enforcement and education in the poorest U.S. communities, part of his pledge to narrow the gap between rich and poor in America.

Obama signaled last month that he plans a new focus this year on income inequality, which he called “the defining challenge of our time”, pushing to raise the minimum wage and find new ways to help poor children break out of the cycle of poverty.

Jan 3, 2014

Obama admin proposes new gun background check measures

HONOLULU/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration on Friday proposed two new gun control regulations aimed at clarifying restrictions on gun ownership for the mentally ill and strengthening a database used for background checks before firearm purchases.

The measures are the latest step in a year-long push by President Barack Obama to tighten U.S. gun laws in the wake of a school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 children were killed.

Dec 23, 2013

Obamacare signup deadline pushed back to Tuesday

WASHINGTON, Dec 23 (Reuters) – As Americans scrambled to
beat a deadline to sign up for insurance under President Barack
Obama’s new healthcare law, the White House gave consumers
shopping on the program’s website an extra day, until Dec. 24,
to pick plans for coverage that starts Jan. 1.

The last-minute move by the Obama administration came on a
day when officials reported record traffic on,
the enrollment website that struggled with glitches after its
launch in October.

Dec 23, 2013

Obamacare’s signup deadline on Monday has its exceptions

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – For most Americans who don’t have health insurance, Monday is the deadline to sign up for coverage starting on January 1 under President Barack Obama’s healthcare law.

For others, it’s not a deadline.

There is a “hardship” exception for some that permits them not to sign up any kind of health insurance at all without facing a penalty – the hardship being problems they’ve encountered with Obamacare and its malfunctioning website

Dec 20, 2013

Obama says “we screwed it up” on health law debut

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Friday defended his administration’s decision to delay for some people the requirement to buy medical insurance under his healthcare law, but acknowledged that the botched rollout of the policy was his biggest mistake of 2013.

“Since I’m in charge, obviously we screwed it up,” Obama said at his year-end news conference.

Dec 20, 2013

Latest delay adds to chaotic rollout of Obama’s health law

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The government’s move to delay for some people a requirement to buy medical insurance raised new doubts about the already chaotic rollout of President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law, just days before an enrollment deadline.

In another technical setback on Friday for the main website for enrollment,, U.S. officials said it would be down for a few hours to repair an error that occurred overnight.

Dec 20, 2013

Last-minute Obamacare exemption for those with canceled plans

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration made a major last-minute policy shift on Thursday, saying the change would help Americans meet a looming deadline to replace insurance plans canceled because of new standards under Obamacare reforms.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said that this group of people – estimated by the administration to be fewer than 500,000 in number – will be allowed to claim a “hardship exemption” from the requirement in the 2010 Affordable Care Act to buy insurance.

Dec 18, 2013

Obamacare tech hurdle looms right before enrollment deadline

By Roberta Rampton and Sharon Begley

(Reuters) – Some technical experts are perplexed at the U.S. government’s plan to switch web hosts for its new health insurance portal,, in the midst of an expected last-minute rush to beat a March 31 enrollment deadline for 2014 coverage.

Switching hosts is not in and of itself a huge risk if it is done carefully and with lots of preparation, according to technical experts interviewed by Reuters. It is the timing of the highly complex maneuver that is risky. If there are problems, the website could become sluggish or even unusable for anyone trying to enroll.

Dec 18, 2013

Obama to release review panel’s report on surveillance practices

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama prepared to release an independent panel’s review of U.S. intelligence practices on Wednesday in a prelude to announcing a broad set of new policy procedures aimed at reining in the National Security Agency.

Spurred into action by revelations of U.S. surveillance by former spy agency contractor Edward Snowden, Obama will announce next month some constraints on the intelligence community to ensure American officials are focusing on foreign threats and not simply gathering information because they have the capability to do so.

    • 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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