Susan's Feed
Feb 5, 2014

Conservative lawmakers split on debt limit increase

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Conservative Republicans differed on Wednesday over their party’s approach to raising the U.S. debt ceiling, underscoring the challenges faced by House Speaker John Boehner as Congress considers the Obama administration’s request for an increase in the federal government’s borrowing authority.

At a question-and-answer session with reporters, Representative Joe Barton said Republicans should push for deficit reduction in exchange for a debt-limit increase.

Feb 1, 2014

Republicans, eyeing elections, paper over divisions

CAMBRIDGE, Maryland (Reuters) – Republican lawmakers, hoping to ride the disastrous rollout of President Barack Obama’s healthcare law to victory in the November congressional elections, are trying to put internal fights behind them and unify around a proposed Obamacare replacement.

During a two-day retreat on Maryland’s frozen eastern shore, Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives also sought to shed the image they acquired during last October’s government shutdown as a cantankerous opposition party.

Jan 30, 2014

Republicans wary as they weigh immigration reforms

CAMBRIDGE, Maryland (Reuters) – U.S. House of Representatives Republicans began two days of meetings on Thursday ready to discuss immigration reforms amid doubts among some lawmakers that they would be able to advance significant legislation in this mid-term election year.

Speaker John Boehner told reporters at the start of the closed-door conference that there would be discussions on immigration and on a series of Republican “principles” developed by leaders of the party, which controls the House.

Jan 24, 2014

Republicans seek own policy cure to replace Obamacare

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Top Republicans are saying they can no longer just be the party of “No” on Obamacare: They need to come up with an alternative healthcare policy.

While many Americans are skeptical of President Barack Obama’s healthcare overhaul, they also tell lawmakers they worry about keeping their costs from getting out of control. For those voters, a party that offers a platform to repeal the 2010 law without anything to replace it may not be very attractive.

Jan 10, 2014

Many Democrats support House Obamacare security proposal

WASHINGTON, Jan 10 (Reuters) – A bill targeting potential
security problems with the Obamacare website passed the
Republican-controlled House of Representatives on Friday with
the support of dozens of Democrats, despite opposition from the
White House.

The House voted 291-122 to approve legislation by Republican
Representative Joe Pitts that would require the government to
notify Americans within two days if their personal information
has been compromised on the federal website, HealthCare.gov,
where consumers can shop and buy health insurance.

Jan 6, 2014

U.S. senator sues over healthcare subsidy for Congress

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Senator Ron Johnson filed a lawsuit on Monday challenging the way President Barack Obama’s healthcare law is being applied to Congress, part of a larger Republican strategy to draw attention to what they see as critical flaws in Obama’s signature domestic policy.

Johnson, of Wisconsin, is challenging a U.S. agency decision allowing the federal government to keep paying part of the costs of health insurance for U.S. lawmakers and their staffs who must buy coverage through the Obamacare marketplaces.

Dec 31, 2013

Over 2 million have signed up for Obamacare: U.S. officials

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Over 2 million people have enrolled in health insurance plans through the federally run HealthCare.gov and state healthcare websites since enrollment began in October, U.S. officials said on Tuesday.

HealthCare.gov covers 36 states; another 14 states have their own websites. While short of the 3.3 million enrollees the Obama administration was hoping for by now, the number of enrollees is a dramatic improvement from the early weeks of the program when barely 150,000 signed up for coverage through HealthCare.gov because of a series of technical problems.

Dec 30, 2013

Official who oversaw building of Obamacare website retires

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. health official Michelle Snyder, who oversaw the building of the troubled Obamacare website, HealthCare.gov, is retiring from her job as chief operating officer at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

CMS chief Marilyn Tavenner announced Snyder’s departure to senior staff last week in a statement viewed by Reuters on Monday. The statement said Snyder had originally planned to retire at the end of 2012, but stayed on at Tavenner’s request to, “help me with the challenges facing CMS in 2013.”

Dec 24, 2013

Amid Obamacare late rush, government says ‘don’t worry’

WASHINGTON, Dec 24 (Reuters) – The U.S. government said it
was still processing thousands of sign-ups for health insurance
under President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law on
Tuesday as Americans made a final rush to obtain medical
coverage in time for New Year’s Day.

Citing nearly 2 million visits to the HealthCare.gov website
and over 250,000 inquiries at call centers before Monday’s
sign-up deadline, the government gave consumers an extra day to
enroll by midnight on Tuesday for January coverage.

Dec 24, 2013

Obamacare draws last-minute shoppers, deadline is moving target

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The main website for enrollment under President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law has drawn nearly 2 million visits, officials said Tuesday, in a last-minute rush to meet an ever-flexible deadline for people to obtain insurance coverage starting January 1.

Citing high traffic to the HealthCare.gov website and at call centers before Monday’s sign-up deadline, the government allowed people an extra day to complete their enrollment in time to be covered by New Year’s Day. In a blog post on the website on Tuesday, the administration suggested additional flexibility, without specifying a new deadline.