OVERNIGHT HEALTH: ObamaCare allies upbeat despite rocky rollout

Officials from the HHS said healthcare.gov had successfully enrolled some people by the end of the day, but wouldn't say how many. Officials also wouldn't elaborate on whether they encountered any other glitches, aside from unexpected popularity, as they launched the exchanges.

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Tuesday was the first day of a six-month enrollment window, leaving plenty of time for an aggressive enrollment push and more work on the exchanges' infrastructure. Consumers have until Dec. 15 to sign up for coverage that begins Jan. 1.

Healthwatch has extensive coverage of all the day's developments.

FDA impact: Roughly 55 percent of the Food and Drug Administration’s personnel will dodge furloughs during the government shutdown, according to the agency’s contingency plans. The agency is positioned to fare better than many others, some of which will be virtually shuttered until Congress reaches a deal to fund the government. The FDA programs funded through user fees will continue to operate, including those at the Center for Tobacco Products, according to guidance obtained by The Hill. That means the agency’s Oct. 31 target to propose highly anticipated regulations for electronic cigarettes remains unchanged.

Read the story at RegWatch.

Terrible: The shutdown could prevent children with cancer from getting treated, according to the director of the National Institutes of Health. Read the comments from Francis Collins at The Washington Post.

No deal: A repeal of the medical device tax would not catalyze a deal to end the government shutdown, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Tuesday. While some Democrats have said the elimination of the tax could help finalize a short-term spending agreement, Hoyer has another take. 

"I don't think it would work," he told reporters in the Capitol. "It's an extraneous issue, and if you start this extraneous issue, then the next extraneous issue, where do you stop on extraneous issues?"

Sen. Dick Durbin (Ill.), the second-ranking Senate Democrat, has said repeatedly in recent weeks that the repeal of the medical device tax could be a way to break the stalemate. But he's emphasized that its costs would have to be offset, and that the bill would have to come up outside the context of the spending debate. 

“We can work out something, I believe, on the medical device tax,” Durbin said on CNN’s “New Day” Tuesday morning. “As long as we replace the revenue so that we don’t put a hole in our deficit and respond to this in a responsible fashion.”

The Hill has more.

Employer mandate case: The Obama administration broke the law when officials decided to delay a crucial provision of the president’s signature healthcare law, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court. The lawsuit, filed by the conservative group Judicial Watch on behalf of an orthodontist from Florida, seeks to block a one-year delay of the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate.

The provision requires companies with 50 or more employees to offer insurance to their workers or pay penalties. The mandate, a major pillar of the law, was to take effect in January 2014, under language in the law. The administration’s surprise move in July to postpone the regulations until the following January violate the Administrative Procedure Act and exceed President Obama’s authority, the lawsuit alleges.

RegWatch has the details.



State by state

GOP states offer little help on buying insurance

Maryland online health exchange delayed from opening due to website problems

Pa.'s Corbett hopes Arkansas plan paves way for private Medicaid expansion

Fla. supporters of expanding Medicaid rally in St. Petersburg


Lobbying registrations

Hannegan Landau Poersch Advocacy / Fresenius Kabi USA

King & Spalding / Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare

Manatt, Phelps and Phillips / Professional Recreation Organization


Reading list

Immigrants seeking insurance on exchanges find barriers

First step in enrollment – train the helpers

How Walgreens makes money from healthier shoppers


What you might have missed on Healthwatch

ObamaCare site hits 1 million visits

Poll: Most agree anti-ObamaCare lawmakers should give up their healthcare

Senate Conservatives Fund launches ads on shutdown

Obama: 'There are gonna be problems' with ObamaCare rollout

Durbin: Dems willing to negotiate on medical device tax

Less than one in five say ObamaCare will help

Wall Street traders seek jackpot with ObamaCare bets


Comments / complaints / suggestions?


Please let us know:

Sam Baker: sbaker@thehill.com / 202-628-8351 / @sam_baker

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