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

Turbulent Transition Imperils Tunisia’s Arab Spring Gains

Critics say new anti-terrorism laws worsen Tunisia's situation while others put faith in country’s vibrant civil organizations, women’s movement More

Burundi’s Political Crisis May Become Humanitarian One

United Nations aid agencies issue warning as deadly violence sends tens of thousands fleeing More

Yemenis Adjust to Life Under Houthi Rule

Locals want warring parties to strike deal to stop bloodletting before deciding how country is governed More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fairi
X
Brian Padden
May 29, 2015 1:27 PM
With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Purple Door Coffeeshop: Changing Lives One Cup at a Time

For a quarter of his life, Kevin Persons lived on the street. Today, he is working behind the counter of an espresso bar, serving coffee and working to transition off the streets and into a home. Paul Vargas reports for VOA.
Video

Video Modular Robot Getting Closer to Reality

A robot being developed at Carnegie Mellon University has evolved into a multi-legged modular mechanical snake, able to move over rugged surfaces and explore the surroundings. Scientists say such machines could someday help in search and rescue operations. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Shanghai Hosts Big Consumer Electronics Show

Electronic gadgets are a huge success in China, judging by the first Asian Consumer Electronics Show, held this week in Shanghai. Over the course of two days, more than 20,000 visitors watched, tested and played with useful and some less-useful electronic devices exhibited by about 200 manufacturers. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.

VOA Blogs