By Tracey Webb Follow @WebbWriterguru
Get your daily scoop of what State of the Union is watching today, November 14, 2013.
1. The President's Obamacare fix. Under pressure from Republicans and Democrats over the health care rollout fiasco, President Obama offered his plan to help Americans whose insurance policies are being cancelled because they don't meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act. The fix allows insurance companies to offer one-year extensions of plans to people who currently purchase them on the individual market. "This fix won't solve every problem for every person. But it's going to help a lot of people," the President said. "We are going to do everything we can to help the Americans who've received these cancellation notices." It's not clear how much relief the president's proposal will provide because insurers and state insurance commissioners aren't being forced to extend existing plans. Stay tuned.
2. Obama: I'm sorry, again. In announcing his insurance cancellation fix, President Obama also offered a new round of mea culpas. "We fumbled the rollout on this health care law," the president said. But he suggested the collapse of Obamacare is greatly exaggerated. "The game's not over," he said. The President was also contrite about the position the botched rollout has put his fellow Democrats in. "There is no doubt that our failure to roll out the ACA smoothly has put a burden on Democrats, whether they're running or not, because they stood up and supported this effort through thick and thin, and, you know, I feel deeply responsible for making it harder for them rather than easier for them," he said.
3. Meanwhile back on the Hill. House Republicans are pushing ahead to a Friday vote on bill that would allow insurance companies to keep offering plans that would otherwise be nixed under Obamacare. Democrats are expected to offer an alternative fix. House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi criticized the Republican measure, sponsored by Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) saying it would essentially dismantle the health care law. "What we have to do for the fix is thread the needle," said Pelosi. "What they are doing tomorrow is unraveling the whole fabric. It is just not necessary." As House Speaker John Boehner sees is it, there is no sufficient Obamacare fix. "I am highly skeptical that they can do this administratively. I just don't see with the law their ability to do that," Boehner said. The Senate's second-ranking Democrat said the President's proposal to address canceled health plans is sufficient, making it unnecessary for Congress to act. "There is no need for a legislative fix for this issue," Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) said. "Instead, Congress should continue to work with the administration to improve the implementation of the law and redouble our efforts highlighting and explaining what this historic law will mean for 40 million Americans without insurance.”
4. Cruz: We're vindicated. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said people are starting to get why he and other conservatives were so intent on derailing Obamacare even though the effort was unsuccessful and led to government shutdown. "A few weeks ago there were lots of people – particularly in Washington – that were saying, 'Why are you guys fighting so hard on this?' And with just the passage of a few weeks, people aren't asking that anymore," Cruz said. He added the Obamacare rollout troubles has those who joined him in the effort feeling "vindicated."
5. Move over Hillary? By every account and poll, Hillary Clinton is the frontrunner for the 2016 Democratic nomination is she chooses to run. But another name is gaining steam as a potential presidential contender: Sen. Elizabeth Warren. The Massachusetts Democrat has been excitement among some liberals with her swipes against the way big banks are still doing business. But will Warren's pet issue launch her to a presidential run? Probably not. She has pretty much expressed zero interest in a White House bid. "Senator Warren has been clear that she is not going to run for president," her press secretary Lacey Rose said.