OVERNIGHT HEALTH: No ObamaCare shake-up

The White House on Monday denied reports of a staff shake-up in the aftermath of the botched ObamaCare rollout. Press secretary Jay Carney insisted that the president's team was singularly focused on making improvements to the enrollment figures, not examining what went wrong behind the scenes and who was responsible. Last week, the president told reporters that there was “going to be a lot of evaluation of how we got to this point,” prompting speculation that he could look to remove members of his staff. Justin Sink at The Hill reports.

BREAKING: The White House announced Monday that it was working with insurers on a HealthCare.Gov workaround. Press secretary Jay Carney said part of the administration’s response to those frustrated by the error-ridden ObamaCare website would be to allow insurance companies to directly sign up consumers that qualify for federal tax subsidies. Consumers could previously purchase plans approved under the Affordable Care Act directly from an insurance company, but if they qualified for tax credits, they were required to go through the federal exchanges on HealthCare.gov to take advantage of them. Jonathan Easley at The Hill reports.

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Poll: A majority of voters say the federal government shouldn’t be involved in the business of healthcare, according to a Gallup survey released Monday. The poll found that 56 percent say making sure people have health insurance shouldn't be a government responsibility, against 42 percent who say that it should be. Prior to 2008, federal involvement in healthcare enjoyed strong support, but the bitter congressional fight to pass the Affordable Care Act, and the ensuing botched rollout, seems to have soured the public on the notion. Jonathan Easley at The Hill reports.

Quotable: “The truth is, we’re going to fix it.” — Vice President Biden, of HealthCare.gov at a transportation event in Houston, Texas, on Monday. “God willing,” he added.

Unsure: Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) says he voted in favor of a GOP bill that would allow insurance companies to continue offering limited health plans because he didn’t think President Obama had the authority to do so on his own. Speaking on CBS’s "This Morning," Rahall was asked if he voted for the GOP bill, in part because he felt Obama’s executive order to allow insurance companies to continue offering limited plans to current enrollees didn’t go far enough. The White House last week threatened to veto the bill, sponsored by Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), before the House passed it in a 261-157 vote. Jonathan Easley at The Hill reports.

Roll, heads: Former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Monday that the White House should fire someone — or possibly even a group of people — over the “botched” ObamaCare rollout. Dozens of lawmakers have called for embattled Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to resign, and she’s had to join her colleagues at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, most notably administrator Marilyn Tavenner, on Capitol Hill for testimony in front of angry lawmakers. But to date, no one has stepped down because of a direct connection to the bungled launch. Jonathan Easley at The Hill reports.

 

State by State:

Grants help states battle high-cost, low-quality care, reports Christine Vestal at Pew’s Stateline blog.

Louisiana Republican wins special election after endorsing Medicaid expansion, reports David Weigel at Slate.

 

Reading List:

The Democrats’ ObamaCare crack-up, by Jonathan Tobin at Commentary.

How to stop the ObamaCare repeal campaign, by Brian Beutler at Salon.

The White House’s creative, illegal rule-making on ObamaCare, by Megan McArdle at Bloomberg.

ObamaCare needs Republican help to work, by Jamelle Bouie at The Daily Beast.

 

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Jonathan Easley/ jeasley@thehill.com / 202-407-8014 / @joneasley




Elise Viebeck/ eviebeck@thehill.com / 202-628-8523 / @eliseviebeck