News / USA

Washington Week: Focus on Obamacare Woes

Washington Week: Focus on Obamacare Woesi
X
October 20, 2013 6:55 PM
This week will bring renewed scrutiny of President Barack Obama’s signature health care law, a key portion of which has been hobbled by technical glitches since going online at the beginning of the month. From Washington, VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Washington Week: Focus on Obamacare Woes
Michael Bowman
This week will bring renewed scrutiny of President Barack Obama’s signature health care law, a key portion of which has been hobbled by technical glitches since going online at the beginning of the month.

The U.S. government is funded once again, allowing landmarks like the National Zoo to reopen.
 
“The animals have missed you, the people have missed you. We need you back,” remarked National Zoo director Dennis Kelly as he welcomed back visitors following a 16-day shutdown.
 
The fiscal impasse that sent America to the edge of a debt default also diverted the nation’s attention from another problem: the roll-out of online health insurance marketplaces created under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. Nearly three weeks since its launch, the system is barely functional, with many insurance shoppers unable to even create an account.
 
“It is just one dead end after the other. It is hour after hour after hour trying to find out where my insurance is and what it is going to cost,” said frustrated Obamacare user Dan Howard.
 
Later this week, the Republican-led House of Representatives will probe the glitches. The administration’s top health official, Kathleen Sebelius, has admitted problems in even tracking the number of successful users.
 
“How many enrolled? I cannot tell you, because I do not know," conceded Sebelius during a recent appearance on Jon Stewart’s Daily Show.
 
Frustrations extend to President Obama, according to White House Spokesman Jay Carney.
 
“He is not happy with it and has insisted that everybody work 24/7 (non-stop) to fix the problems that exist,” said Carney.
 
Republican opposition to Obamacare was a major driver of the fiscal impasse that halted federal operations and risked a debt default. Many Republican lawmakers say they are reassessing their tactics, but will not abandon the fight against the law. Among the initiative’s chief critics is Senator Ted Cruz
 
“My focus is, I think, where the American people’s focus is: what are we doing to provide real relief to the people who are hurting because of Obamacare?” – said Cruz.
 
On foreign matters, President Obama will welcome Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to the White House Wednesday.

You May Like

Bleak China Economic Outlook Rattles Markets

Several key European stock indexes were down up to three percent, while US market indexes were off around 2.5 percent in afternoon trading More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs