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Health Care Edge

Gaining Distance From Obamacare: Health Care Edge - Brought to you by American Medical Association

November 13, 2013

Gaining Distance From Obamacare

Vulnerable, red-state Democrats are no longer the only members of their party looking for distance from Obamacare. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said Tuesday that she'll sign on to Sen. Mary Landrieu's bill to roll back new insurance requirements. And former President Clinton said President Obama should "honor the commitment" he made by promising that people could keep their plans.

Feinstein signed on to Landrieu's bill just days before the House is set to vote on a similar proposal. Her support and Clinton's comments will make it harder for the White House to dismiss that bill as just another GOP attack—especially if House GOP leaders peel off a significant number of Democratic votes.


The White House says it's looking for an administrative "fix" to aid some of the people who are losing their existing insurance plans. It's unlikely to find one—at least one that would make a real difference—but the growing bipartisan support for a legislative response will make it hard to escape this controversy without a policy change—or at least the appearance of one.

Sam Baker

Top Health Care News

By Sophie Novack and Clara Ritger

HOUSE HEARING TO FOCUS ON SECURITY IN OBAMACARE EXCHANGE. Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., will get his chance to publicly interrogate HHS officials about the rollout of today.

THE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE DRAMA CONTINUES. Ranking member Elijah Cummings, D-Md., released a Democratic staff memo that he says refutes Issa's claim that the White House directed CMS to disable the "anonymous shopper" function for political reasons before the Oct. 1 launch.

THE GOP'S NEW HEALTH CARE HERO: BILL CLINTON. The former president, a supporter of the Affordable Care Act, says Obama should make good on his promise to Americans about keeping their health plans.

WEBSITE PROBLEMS WON'T STOP OBAMACARE OUTREACH. Enroll America, the nonprofit organization tasked with helping consumers learn about and sign up for Obamacare coverage, has raised more than $27 million since March.

SUPREME COURT WON'T TAKE UP OKLAHOMA ABORTION DEBATE. It's the second time the Supreme Court has declined the state of Oklahoma's requests to review the constitutionality of its abortion laws that were struck down by the state Supreme Court.

NEW GUIDELINES REDEFINE USE OF STATINS. The American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology say taking the right dose of statin will help reduce cholesterol, and patients no longer have to meet specific targets.


GOP SENATE CANDIDATE: I'LL RETIRE IF OBAMACARE ISN'T REPEALED. Rep. Phil Gingrey of Georgia focuses on health care in first TV ad of competitive primary.

CMS TO WOULD-BE OBAMACARE ENROLLEES: COME TRY AGAIN. About 275,000 people who unsuccessfully attempted to enroll in coverage on are being contacted this week, as the website continues to be fixed. 

DRUG-COMPOUNDING BILL CLEARS PROCEDURAL HURDLE IN SENATE. The Senate voted 97-1 to advance legislation increasing FDA oversight of drug compounding pharmacies. The bill passed in the House in late September. 

MEDICAID IS OBAMACARE'S EARLY SUCCESS STORY. Medicaid has signed up 444,000 people in ten states since Oct. 1. However, because of site problems, it could be quicker to go to a state's Medicaid office rather than wait on

INSURANCE COMPANIES WANT A NEW OBAMACARE SITE. To receive subsidies, consumers must go through the income verification process. Insurers want to change that.

DEMS TO WHITE HOUSE: FIX OBAMACARE, FAST. Some House Democrats may vote for a bill Friday to allow insurance companies to extend current plans a year, unless the administration comes up with an alternate fix for insurance cancellations. The White House says the legislation would undermine the health care law.

WEBSITE SHARES INSURANCE CANCELLATION LETTERS. is posting cancellation letters from people who may have liked their health insurance but can't keep it.

Happening Today

HOUSE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE HEARING. IT Officials will testify on the rollout of at 9:30 a.m.

HOUSE HOMELAND SECURITY COMMITTEE HEARING. Witnesses will testify on the security of personal information entered on at 10 a.m.


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