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The Edge

The Big Obama Promise, Gillibrand's Changing Stripes, D.C. Owns Halloween—THE EDGE

October 25, 2013

TODAY IN ONE PARAGRAPH: HealthCare.gov will be fixed by Nov. 30, administration officials promised today. The administration said its top priority will be to fix glitches that have fed inaccurate information to insurance companies. Officials say they expect incremental progress on the site between now and the end-of-November deadline. Elsewhere, the Japan is on tsunami alert following a major earthquake off the Pacific coast. No immediate damage was reported on land, but the potential on-land area affected includes Fukushima Prefecture, home to the decommissioned Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant that precipitated a nuclear crisis in 2011.

TOP NEWS

GONE TIL NOVEMBER: HealthCare.gov will be operating "smoothly" by Nov. 30, says Jeff Zients, the former White House budget director who is now overseeing the effort to get the enrollment process working as intended. QSSI—the company that built a massive "data hub" for the health care law's exchanges--will take the lead on coordinating repairs to the site. That decision appears to rectify one of the main complaints about the initial launch: that Health and Human Services put itself in charge of pulling together contractors' work, rather than appointing one contractor to oversee the whole project. (Sam Baker, NJ)

THE BIG QUESTION: Even if the administration hits its deadline, it will still leave the uninsured on a tight timely to get coverage. Dec. 15 is the last day to buy insurance that takes effect on Jan. 1. The administration is betting (or hoping) that the rollout glitches won't undermine the end goal of the mandate: to ensure enough young, healthy people join to make up for the expensive customers insurance companies are now legally required to cover. Time will tell.

 

FUKUSHIMA AREA STRUCK BY 7.3 EARTHQUAKE: The U.S. Geological Survey reported the quake this afternoon as Japan issued tsunami advisories for the region, home to the Fukushima nuclear site. There were "no immediate reports of damage on land." (Yamaguchi/Moritsugu, AP)

CUCCINELLI, McAULIFFE STILL THROWING PUNCHES AFTER DEBATE: Thursday's final debate in Virginia governor's race was fun, but the barbs between Republican Ken Cuccinelli and Democrat Terry McAuliffe aren't likely to let up soon. Cuccinelli slammed McAuliffe during a news conference today for being "dirty" and making "big bucks off of the deaths of terminally ill people." Ouch. The election is Nov. 5. (Fredrick Kunkle, WaPo)

THE WEEKEND IN ONE PARAGRAPH: The House and Senate are out of session, so take the time to bone up on next week's top policy topics: HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will testify about the Obamacare site's rollout on Tuesday, and the House Homeland Security Committee will vote on a package of legislation including a bill to boost cybersecurity standards. Or go trick-or-treating. D.C. is one of the best cities in the country for it.

TOP LINES

NSA OUTRAGE: Germany and France want to talk with the U.S. about ways to develop mutually acceptable terms for surveillance. Kanter/Cowell, NYT)

SMARTPHONES INVADE: The companies that blew open the mobile-phone markets in China and India are now primed to take over the rest of the world. (Leo Mirani, Quartz)

GOP IMMIGRATION PUSH: The effort for reform among House Republicans could splinter the already factious party even further. Lipton/Parker, NYT)

TOP READ

THE AMAZING, UNPREDICTABLE RISE OF KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND: From rural populist to a powerful liberal icon--who's still gaining influence. Here's how she did it. (Ben Terris, NJ)

TOP VIEWS

LAST NIGHT'S LATE NIGHT FUNNIES IN UNDER 3 MINUTES: One way to get the Obamacare site to work? Let the NSA take over. Angela Merkel loves the idea. (Reena Flores, NJ)

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