AP: “President Barack Obama is expected to acknowledge that widespread problems with his health care law’s rollout are unacceptable, as the administration scrambles to fix the glitches. Obama was scheduled to speak Monday from the Rose Garden, his first health care-focused event since the cascade of computer problems became apparent. The troublesome rollout of the health care exchanges has been a glaring embarrassment for Obama’s signature legislative achievement. White House officials say the president will discuss steps the administration is taking to address the glitches, including ramping up staffing at call centers where people can apply for insurance by phone. The Department of Health and Human Services says it is also bringing in technology experts from inside and outside of government to help diagnose the issues.”
The Boston Globe: “Last week, President Obama gathered some of his top advisers in the Oval Office to discuss the problem-plagued rollout of his health care legislation. He told his team the administration had to own up to the fact that there were no excuses for not having the health care website ready to operate on Day One. The admonition from a frustrated president came amid the embarrassing start to sign-ups for the health care insurance exchanges. The president is expected to address the cascade of computer problems Monday during an event at the White House. Administration officials say more than 476,000 health insurance applications have been filed through federal and state exchanges. They still will not say how many people have actually enrolled in the insurance markets.”
USA Today: “Signaling a shift in tone in acknowledging problems with the launch of the Affordable Care Act website, the government posted a blog Sunday taking responsibility for issues millions of Americans have had trying to sign up for health insurance. ‘Unfortunately, the experience on HealthCare.gov has been frustrating for many Americans,’ the blog from Health and Human Services states. ‘Some have had trouble creating accounts and logging into the site, while others have received confusing error messages, or had to wait for slow page loads or forms that failed to respond in a timely fashion. The initial consumer experience of HealthCare.gov has not lived up to the expectations of the American people. We are committed to doing better.’”
Politico looks at how states that have embraced Obamacare are faring better for their citizens than ones that have not.
USA Today: “The United States' ambassador to France Charles H. Rivkin has been summoned by the French foreign minister following claims made by the Le Monde newspaper group Monday that the National Security Agency spied on millions of French citizens. Le Monde made the allegations it said based on documents it secured from the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told reporters at a European Union foreign ministers meeting that the ambassador has been asked to go to the foreign ministry in Paris "immediately" to explain the allegations.”
Gasland’s director, part of the anti-fracking movement, criticized President Obama for ignoring the movement: “I think he ignores us at his own moral peril. History will be the judge. When you talk about chemicals in the ground, those chemicals have Barack Obama’s initials on them. Obama is the guy who presided over more fracking than [George W.] Bush. Is fracking going to be Obama’s legacy?”
Don't miss this comment from NBC's Andrea Mitchell on "Meet the Press" regarding the upcoming budget talks. "They are going to talk about at least a one-year budget deal. But it's not going to be with the president saying entitlements, everything's on the table, he does not mean that benefits are on the table. So there's not going to be the grand bargain."
And NBC’s Kristen Welker reports that on Saturday evening, the president hosted a small wedding ceremony for Chief Official White House Photographer Pete Souza and Patti Lease in the Rose Garden. The ceremony was performed by Chaplain Rev Fornea and they were joined by roughly 35 family members and friends. We all wish them well."
First published October 21 2013, 6:13 AM