At the last minute, the Obama administration gave consumers more time to sign up for health insurance starting Jan. 1. People will now have until the end of Christmas Eve, giving them an additional day. The administration hopes a late surge of enrollments will boost numbers, which have lagged far behind expectations. The insurance industry is hoping the same thing. But it is also expressing dismay over recent changes to the law that allow some people to opt out of the individual mandate or purchase plans otherwise prohibited under the law.
People who are uninsured now have one more day to sign up for health coverage that start on the first of 2014. On Monday, the White House extended the deadline to sign up for plans under the Affordable Care Act from midnight on Dec. 23 to Christmas Eve at midnight, describing the move as a way to accommodate people in different time zones.
Christine Fox was recently named acting Deputy Defense Secretary, making her the highest ranking woman in Pentagon history. She talks with NPR's Rachel Martin about the Pentagon's budget challenges, her long career in defense and about inspiring Kelly McGillis' character in the movie Top Gun.
It was another tough week for the National Security Agency. First, a federal judge said some of the NSA's surveillance activities were "likely unconstitutional." Then, a White House panel recommended that NSA activities in the U.S. and abroad should be significantly reined in. Host Arun Rath speaks with Wall Street Journal reporter Siobhan Gorman about the week's news and the future of the NSA.
President Obama wrapped up a rough year with a White House news conference before boarding Air Force One to Hawaii with his family for the holidays. Amid all the criticism of the troubled rollout of his health care law, the government shutdown and NSA snooping, the president highlighted greater energy independence and flickers of bipartisanship on Capitol Hill.
It's the season of peace and good will, but President Obama may have tested the limits of both with comments at his end-of-year news conference. He suggested Republicans would be "crazy" to wage a new debt-ceiling fight, and seemed to question even his allies' motives on Iran sanctions.
The White House announced another rule change for people signing up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Just in time for the holiday rush, the Obama Administration said people whose policies have been cancelled will be allowed to buy so-called catastrophic coverage plans. The high-deductible, low-premium plans that cover the basics and not much more had previously been limited to people under the age of 30 who had demonstrable financial need.
Ahead of his trip to Hawaii for the holidays, President Obama held a year-end press conference at the White House Friday. Despite a tough year, the president insisted he had successes under his watch as well, and said he still hoped 2014 could be a "breakthrough year."
Melissa Block speaks with regular political commentators, E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and Brookings Institution and David Brooks of The New York Times for the latest in political news. They'll talk about another looming debt ceiling fight in early 2014, new changes to the Affordable Care Act, and a White House panel's review of NSA surveillance programs.
President Obama held a year-end press conference Friday at the White House. He touted successes under his watch including improved jobs numbers and a stronger economy, increased oil and gas production, and said a million people had signed up for private health plans on state and federal exchanges. He also chided lawmakers for allowing extended unemployment benefits to lapse. And he took questions from reporters on a range of other issues.