Millions of people have shopped for insurance on the new marketplaces called exchanges since opening day on Tuesday. Officials said it was evidence of high interest. Others criticized the fumbling start, which involved computer glitches, saying the Affordable Care Act was not ready for prime time. Renee Montagne and David Greene talk to NPR's Mara Liasson and Molly Ball, of The Atlantic, about the politicking around the new health law.
Conservatives have driven the debate and the showdown in Washington this week. But even as national polls have shown strong public disapproval of the government shutdown, conservative media outlets — on the air, on cable, and on the Internet — have provided a voice of support for Republicans on the Hill and created a like-minded community for their audience.
Texas Republican Rep. Randy Neugebauer told a Park Service ranger she should be ashamed for carrying out orders that the World War II Memorial, like other national parks and monuments, be closed. That led to a tense exchange with a passerby, who said it's lawmakers who are to blame. See the video.
House Speaker John Boehner has had a rocky relationship with his majority Republican conference since it rejected his plans two years ago to reach a "grand bargain" on taxes and entitlements with President Obama. But his difficulties have been on full display lately, as he has let his chamber's agenda be set by a small group of Tea Party conservatives. So why is Boehner hewing so closely to what a small minority of his caucus wants?
The Clinical Center at the National Institutes of Health in Maryland is often the last resort for patients who have mysterious, rare or terminal diseases. Patients sometimes call it call it the House of Hope. But the government shutdown may mean that prospective patients will be turned away — including sick children.
To understand House Speaker John Boehner's role in the government shutdown, you have to understand the 30 or so House Republican hard-liners and his relationship with them. Because Republicans have a relatively slim majority in the House, the 30 have more power than their numbers would make it seem.
From Acadia in Maine to Zion in Utah to the North Cascades in Washington, America's 401 National Park areas have gates blocking entrance roads. National Forest and Bureau of Land Management lands would nearly be impossible to close because there are so many access points.