OVERNIGHT HEALTH: Eve of ObamaCare's exchanges

ObamaCare's new insurance marketplaces are set to open Tuesday morning, whether the federal government shuts down or not. "We're very excited about tomorrow," Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen SebeliusKathleen Sebelius65 former governors, mayors back bipartisan infrastructure deal Fauci: 'Horrifying' to hear CPAC crowd cheering anti-vaccination remarks The Memo: Biden and Democrats face dilemma on vaccine mandates MORE said Monday. "We're about to make some history, I think some very positive history."

Officials previewed the online application process for the exchanges on Monday, and they reiterated that some technical "glitches" are inevitable. But they avoided saying when "glitches" would cross the line into serious problems, emphasizing that the enrollment window opens tomorrow but remains open for six months — plenty of time, they said, to fix any technical issues and reach their goal of enrolling 7 million people.

"Oct. 1 is not the end of anything; it is the beginning," Sebelius said.

The enrollment marathon officially begins at 8 a.m., when the 36 exchanges run by the federal government are scheduled to open for business.

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Check out Healthwatch's preview of ObamaCare's opening day.


Over on the Hill: The Senate rejected the House's funding bill, which sought to delay implementation of the Affordable Care Act for one year. Then the House chose to float a measure that would delay the law's individual mandate and strip out subsidies for members of Congress and political appointees. As of 6:15 p.m., it was unclear if Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerCheney takes shot at Trump: 'I like Republican presidents who win re-election' Cheney allies flock to her defense against Trump challenge Lobbying world MORE (R-Ohio) had the votes to pass his "Plan C." Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidTo Build Back Better, we need a tax system where everyone pays their fair share Democrats say Biden must get more involved in budget fight Biden looks to climate to sell economic agenda MORE (D-Nev.) repeated his stance: No Senate approval for any further changes to the stopgap spending bill.

Read about the impending House vote and check for any updates at The Hill.

Groups split: Two prominent conservative groups pushing for Republicans to take a hard line on a government shutdown have split on the latest plan from House GOP leaders.

The Club for Growth announced Monday afternoon that it would be urging members to vote in favor of the latest continuing resolution set to be offered by House Republicans, and would be scoring the vote for its congressional scorecard. However, Heritage Action, the political arm of the Heritage Foundation, announced shortly afterward that it opposed the new plan from Republican leaders, saying it did not do enough to halt ObamaCare. The group stopped short of scoring that vote for its scorecard.

Both groups have been active players in encouraging the shutdown showdown. Read more at The Hill's On the Money blog.

Obama weighs in: President Obama warned House Republicans they would be engaging in the "height of irresponsibility" if they fail to pass a funding bill that would keep the government open by midnight. Speaking from the White House, the president told members of the GOP that they "don't get to extract a ransom for doing your job," and said that keeping the government funded was "not a concession" to the White House.

"One faction of one party, in one house of Congress, in one branch of government, doesn't get to shut down the entire government just to refight an election," Obama said.

Watch the remarks at HillTube.

What will happen during a shutdown? HealthDay has a comprehensive look at how a possible shutdown will affect federal healthcare functions. The bottom line: People on Medicare or Medicaid or receiving veterans' benefits will not be affected. About 40,500 employees at the Department of Health and Human Services, or more than half the staff, will be furloughed. Several public health programs will be disrupted.

Read more at HealthDay.

Polls galore: Looks like everyone scheduled their ObamaCare polls for release Monday morning. Among the findings from four different surveys: 

  • Just 7 percent say their preference is for Congress to delay or defund ObamaCare, while a clear majority think the law should either be left in place or improved, according to a poll by The Morning Consult.
  • Just 2 in 5 adults are aware of the exchanges and the financial assistance they offer, according to a poll by the Commonwealth Fund. This figure drops to 1 in 3 among people who were recently uninsured. 
  • In the same survey, more than three-quarters of adults said they know they will be required to carry health insurance next year, while 3 in 5 eligible adults said they were likely to take advantage of the new coverage options.
  • Another 68 percent expressed strong or partial support for the Medicaid expansion, per Commonwealth. 
  • Just over half are worried about the healthcare law, while nearly three-quarters said they were at least somewhat concerned it will result in higher prices, according to a poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation and NBC. 
  • Delaying the individual mandate for one year has support in swing districts, according to a poll commissioned by the conservative American Action Forum.

Finalizing the 'fix': The federal government's personnel office finalized rules Monday dictating how lawmakers and their staff will purchase health insurance through ObamaCare's new exchanges. The rule finalizes a "fix" allowing the federal government to continue to contribute to the healthcare costs of lawmakers and staff. Many Republicans have labeled the policy an "exemption" from ObamaCare, although lawmakers and their aides are not exempt from the requirement to buy ObamaCare policies.

Healthwatch has more on the rules. 

Abortion flare-up: The two sides of the abortion debate are reacting strongly to news that members of Congress and their staffs will be able to purchase plans that cover abortion services on ObamaCare's new healthcare exchanges. Abortion-rights supporters in Congress hailed the decision from the Office of Personnel Management, while Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser slammed the healthcare law as a "massive expansion of taxpayer funding of abortion."

Read more at The Washington Times.


Tuesday's schedule

Top congressional Democrats will mark the start of open enrollment at a press conference on Capitol Hill.

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute will host a summit on ObamaCare's implementation at the Washington Convention Center.

Families USA and DC Health Link — the District of Columbia's new online health insurance marketplace — will hold an event celebrating open enrollment at the National Press Club.


State by state

Planned Parenthood files suit to block Iowa telemedicine abortion change

HHS decision on Arkansas Medicaid a boon for CorbettCare

Florida's Rick Scott attacks Obama's leadership over likely shutdown


Reading list

Affordable Care Act's Latino push may give Dems politics edge

ObamaCare's launch expected to be anti-climatic

Oncologists call for industry-led global fund to fight cancer


What you might have missed on Healthwatch

Feds issue ObamaCare reporting rules

Van Hollen: 'Speaker Cruz' in control

Senate Dems use birth control language to slam GOP

Groups slam House GOP for targeting birth control mandate

Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaObamas to break ground Tuesday on presidential center in Chicago Michelle Obama looks to mobilize voters for midterms We must mount an all-country response to help our Afghan allies MORE: ObamaCare good for veterans

GOP senator disagrees with House threat of government shutdown

GOP Rep. Pompeo: I'll try to enroll in ObamaCare exchange


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