Archives for White House

High court review of Obama’s surveillance law coming?

The Justice Department says for the first time that it intends to use information gained from one of the National Security Agency’s warrantless surveillance programs against an accused terrorist, setting the stage for a likely Supreme Court test of the Obama administration’s approach to national security. The high court so far has turned aside challenges to the law on government surveillance on the grounds that people who bring such lawsuits have no evidence they are being targeted. Jamshid Muhtorov was accused in 2012 of providing material support to the Islamic Jihad Union, an Uzbek terrorist organization that, authorities say, was
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Obama’s tech guru now a target for critics

  Todd Park has gone from steering his healthcare information technology company through a blockbuster IPO to occasionally sleeping on a mat in his office while working to repair the troubled new U.S. government healthcare website. Park, the chief technology officer for the White House and a top advisor to President Barack Obama, now finds himself among a handful of officials with targets on their backs as Republicans try to root out who is responsible for this month’s glitch-ridden rollout of Healthcare.gov. Five years ago, Park was a private-sector tech success story having led his company to an initial public
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Broken Obamacare web site needs lot of fixes

  Nearly a month into a dysfunctional health care rollout, Obama administration officials said Friday they have identified dozens of website problems that need fixing and tapped a private company to take the lead. Jeffrey Zients, a management consultant brought in by the White House to assess the extent of problems with the HealthCare.gov site, told reporters his review found issues across the entire system, which is made up of layers of components interacting in real time with consumers, government agencies and insurance company computers. It will take a lot of work, but “HealthCare.gov is fixable,” said Zients. The vast
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Biden says major mental health treatment changes coming

Vice President Joe Biden said Wednesday that the country is on the cusp of what he called “remarkable changes” in the treatment of mental illness. Speaking at a forum on mental health to mark the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy‘s signing of the Community Mental Health Act, Biden said the human brain is the new frontier for exploration in 2013. He said science is on the verge of “astounding discoveries” that could change how society cares for those with mental illness. “It’s truly amazing what we don’t know and it’s truly amazing what we might learn,” Biden said
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White House goes into damage control mode on Obamacare

The White House sought to limit the political damage from the troubled rollout of the government’s healthcare website on Wednesday as Republicans increased the pressure to delay parts of President Barack Obama’s signature domestic policy. Obama administration officials held a closed-door briefing for Democrats in the House of Representatives and a private session with insurance company executives to discuss efforts to fix the Healthcare.gov website. Republican critics in Congress demanded a delay in a requirement of the healthcare law that uninsured Americans must purchase insurance or face a tax penalty and said they would intensify their investigations into the launch
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Obama healthcare rollout debacle worries House Dems

House Democrats are worried about persistent problems with the rollout of President Barack Obama’s health care law — and one says the president needs to “man up” and fire those responsible. Rep. Richard Nolan, Democrat of Minnesota, emerged from a Wednesday meeting with administration officials on Capitol Hill and told reporters the rollout has “damaged the brand” of the health care law. Democrats facing re-election in 2014 were hoping to run on the law’s new benefits for millions of uninsured Americans. Instead, a litany of computer problems is keeping consumers from signing up and buying insurance on the health care
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White House national security aide fired for bashing officials, policies on Twitter

A White House national security official has been fired for running a Twitter account that was harshly critical of the Obama administration. Jofi Joseph served as non-proliferation director at the National Security Council and was involved in nuclear negotiations with Iran. In a statement to Politico, Joseph says he takes “complete responsibility” for the @natsecwonk Twitter account, which often criticized administration policies and top officials. Joseph says the Twitter feed started as a “parody account.” He apologized to those he insulted. A White House official confirmed that Joseph is no longer working for the administration, but would not comment on
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Even with problems, President says ‘stick with Obamacare’

The Obama administration is appealing to its allies in Congress, on Wall Street and across the country to stick with President Barack Obama’s health care law even as embarrassing problems with the flagship website continue to mount. The website’s troubled debut was overshadowed by the partial government shutdown that started the same day the website went live. Last week, Obama and Democrats walked away from a no-holds-barred fight with Republicans over debt and spending with a remarkable degree of unity, made all the more prominent by the deep GOP divisions the standoff revealed. The debt-and-spending crisis averted for now, the
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Ohio board hands President a major victory for Obamacare

An Ohio legislative panel on Monday voted in favor of the state expanding its Medicaid program for the poor, in a victory for President Barack Obama’s signature federal health reform law. The decision permits Governor John Kasich, a Republican who otherwise opposes the reform law known as the Affordable Care Act, to bypass the state’s Republican-dominated legislature to expand Medicaid, a move strongly opposed by many Ohio conservatives. The Ohio Controlling Board, a special legislative panel composed of six legislators and one Kasich appointee, approved by a 5-2 vote accepting $2.5 billion in federal money, which the governor has said
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Obama expected to acknowledge problems with Obamacare rollout

President Barack Obama is expected to acknowledge that widespread problems with his health care law’s rollout are unacceptable, as the administration scrambles to fix the glitches. Obama was scheduled to speak Monday from the Rose Garden, his first health care-focused event since the cascade of computer problems became apparent. The troublesome rollout of the health care exchanges has been a glaring embarrassment for Obama’s signature legislative achievement. White House officials say the president will discuss steps the administration is taking to address the glitches, including ramping up staffing at call centers where people can apply for insurance by phone. The
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