Oct 24, 2013, 10:36 am EDT
As the outcry over problems with the health insurance exchange websites at the center of President Barack Obama’s health care plan mount, the finger-pointing is kicking into high gear.
Contractors hired by the administration to set up the federal government’s website appeared before the Energy and Commerce Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday to answer lawmakers’ questions about the troubled launch. Not surprisingly, some placed the blame on the administration itself, the Associated Press notes.
An executive from CGI Federal, the primary creator of HealthCare.gov, which offers insurance for residents in 36 states, said that the Department of Health and Human Services was the “quarterback” for the project and is the “ultimate responsible party” for how the website performed. Read
Oct 23, 2013, 3:20 pm EDT
People who file their taxes early will feel some of the lingering effects of the recent U.S. government shutdown.
On Tuesday, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) said that, due to disruptions resulting from the shutdown, it will not begin processing tax returns until Jan. 28, at the earliest, about a week later than usual. The agency indicated that return processing might be delayed even further, until Feb. 4. That would mean that early filers would have to wait longer to get any tax refunds, USA TODAY notes.
Tax-processing systems have to be updated and tested to handle 2014 returns, the agency said. The shutdown occurred during he period during which the IRS usual readies itself to handle tax returns. The agency processes almost 150 million returns every year. Read
Oct 22, 2013, 1:48 pm EDT
Beverly Young — Rep. C. W. Bill Young’s widows — warned former Florida governor Charlie Crist to stay away from her deceased husband’s memorial service.
USA Today reports that Young sent an email to Crist telling him that his attendance at the funeral would be unacceptable. She added that she has “watched over the years, as Bill had, your transparent attempts to manipulate the political arena. I don’t want my husband’s memorial service to be another opportunity for that, and I will not tolerate anyone turning this into a platform for political gain.”
Bill Young was the longest-serving House Republican before passing away on Friday at age 82. Crist has yet to respond publicly to Young’s message. Read
Oct 22, 2013, 1:36 pm EDT
Sen. Marco Rubio is proposing a law that would delay the individual mandate under Obamacare due to the technical glitches on the Affordable Care Act website.
Politico reports that Rubio is introducing the legislation because the glitches have made it impossible for some people to sign up for Obamacare and he wants to ensure that these people are not punished later by the IRS. Rubio said that the law “basically delays that requirement until the [Government Accountability] Office has certified that it’s been up and running and effectively working for six months consecutive. I think that’s a prudent approach given the problems that it’s facing by the White House’s own admission.”
The Senator also slammed the proposed solution for the technical glitches due to the lack of transparency in Obama’s plans. He said that we don’t know who is going to fix these technical glitches, how they’re going to do it or how far these tech experts have gone to fix the Obamacare glitches. Read
Oct 21, 2013, 10:08 am EDT
Recently-elected U.S. Senator Cory Booker presided over some of the first same-sex marriages in New Jersey just after midnight on Monday.
Nine couples were married at city hall in Newark, where Booker is mayor, last night. The marriages came in the wake of a ruling by the New Jersey Supreme Court, which on Friday refused a request from the state government to delay a lower court’s decision that would make gay marriage legal in the state starting on Monday, the Associated Press noted.
Last year, the state legislature passed a law that would have okayed gay marriage in New Jersey. However, Republican Governor Chris Christie vetoed the bill. Read
Oct 18, 2013, 4:32 pm EDT
Allergy-relieving epinephrine pens are sweeping schools around the nation following a series of allergic reactions that have resulted in tragedies.
ABC reports that 15 new states have passed laws that allow schools to stock epinephrine pens in case a students suffers an unexpected allergic reaction. This could be a result of the law passed by the House of Representatives in July that gives preference to schools that carry epinephrine pens when applying for asthma grants.
Here are the 27 states that stock epinephrine at school: Read