KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Senate Dems Go To White House To Assess Health Law Political Fallout

The group of 16 met with President Barack Obama for about two hours, focusing on the floundering website and the possibility of backlash in next year's elections. Some lawmakers also pressed the administration to extend the health law's open enrollment period.

Los Angeles Times: White House Tries To Reassure Democratic Lawmakers About Obamacare
Sixteen Senate Democrats met with President Obama on Wednesday to urge that he right his foundering health care website, warning of a "crisis of confidence" if he doesn't act quickly. The president's team acknowledged struggling with how to present its message to the public, but some senators left the meeting more concerned that there were no immediate fixes forthcoming more than a month after went live (Parsons, Mascaro and Memoli, 11/6).

The Wall Street Journal: Worried Senators Press Obama On Health Law
Democratic senators took their complaints about the troubled launch of the federal health law directly to the White House Wednesday, as the surprisingly close governor's race in Virginia prompted some in the party to warn that they would face voter backlash next year if the problems weren't fixed (King and Hughes, 11/6).

Politico: President Obama, Democratic Senators Discuss Health Care At White House Meeting
President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and other senior administration officials met privately at the White House on Wednesday with frustrated Senate Democrats facing reelection in 2014 to discuss the botched Obamacare rollout. The two-hour meeting comes as the Obama administration and congressional Democrats work to assess the political fallout from the health care overhaul's troubled implementation. Lawmakers passed on the frustration expressed by their constituents and the White House walked through their steps to repair the program (Kim, Epstein and Haberkorn, 11/6).

Bloomberg: Obama Moves To Quell Democratic Dissent Over Health Law
President Barack Obama moved to quell growing dissent among Democratic lawmakers over the troubled rollout of his signature health-care law, summoning senators facing re-election for a two-hour White House meeting.  Fifteen Senate Democrats whose terms are up in 2014, along with Colorado Senator Michael Bennet, who heads the party's Senate campaign arm, aired complaints about the flawed federal website for enrolling in an insurance plan and several pressed to postpone the Affordable Care Act's deadline to obtain coverage, according to several lawmakers present (Dorning and Talev, 11/7).

The Star Tribune: Franken Told Obama He Is Frustrated With The Federal Health Care Website, The Senator Said
U.S. Sen. Al Franken was among the Senate Democrats who met with President Obama and Vice President Biden on Wednesday to talk about the federal health care overhaul and "existing challenges with implementation of the Affordable Care Act," according to the White House. "I also made it clear that, while appears to be running more smoothly than the federal website, I want to make certain that the pieces of the federal system that interface with MNsure are working as well as possible," said Franken, who was among 16 senators who met with Obama (Stassen-Berger, 11/6).

In related news --

The Washington Post: Obama Making Aggressive Effort To Reinvigorate His Base
Nearly a year after President Obama’s reelection, his former campaign manager presented him with a poster-size version of a New York Times Magazine cover from November 2011 bearing the headline, "Is Obama Toast?" The president drew laughs with the story Monday at a dinner for Organizing for Action, an activist group started by his campaign staff. But it also served as a timely reminder for true believers that Obama has a history of defying expectations when he is down (Nakamura, 11/6).

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