Obama Apologizes on Health Care Rollout - The political fallout from the botched launch of the health-care law is presenting congressional Democrats with one of their toughest tests of party loyalty in the five years of the Obama administration.
House Republicans are expected to pass a bill Friday that could dramatically undermine the law. And after years of trying to impale the initiative, GOP leaders are hopeful that the political turmoil over the rollout will provide them the support of a sizable bloc of Democrats.
In the Senate, moderate Democrats facing reelection battles next year have assembled legislative alternatives designed to fix some of the problems and provide political cover for themselves.
Into this caustic mix stepped President Obama with his announcement Thursday that he will allow insurance companies to continue offering plans that do not meet the new law’s requirements. The Washington Post has more here.
White House Says it Will Veto House GOP Bill on Health Care Fix - The White House issued a formal veto threat Thursday night of a bill offered by House Republicans that would allow insurance companies to continue offering health plans that existed before the beginning of the new year.
The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), is coming up for a vote on Friday.
In a statement from the Office of Management and Budget, the administration argues the law is intended to “sabotage” ObamaCare.
“[The bill] rolls back the progress made by allowing insurers to continue to sell new plans that deploy practices such as not offering coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, charging women more than men, and continuing yearly caps on the amount of care that enrollees receive,” the statement said. TheHill.com has more here.
C.I.A. Collecting Data on International Money Transfers - The Central Intelligence Agency is secretly collecting bulk records of international money transfers handled by companies like Western Union — including transactions into and out of the United States — under the same law that the National Security Agency uses for its huge database of Americans’ phone records, according to current and former government officials.
The C.I.A. financial records program, which the officials said was authorized by provisions in the Patriot Act and overseen by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, offers evidence that the extent of government data collection programs is not fully known and that the national debate over privacy and security may be incomplete.
The 55-year-old lawyer takes up the post a week before the 50th anniversary of her father's assassination.
Kennedy, the first female U.S. ambassador to Japan, was an early and prominent supporter of Barack Obama in his initial quest for the presidency in 2008, and also campaigned for him. NBC News has more here.
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Friday, November 15, 2013
Posted by George Wenschhof at 8:26 AM