The Obama administration has announced another delay in plans for implementing the president’s signature health care law this fall.
The Department of Health and Human Services told insurance companies Tuesday that it cannot finalize the terms for operating federal insurance exchanges until mid-September, about two weeks beyond the original deadline of next week.The delay is likely due to technological problems in the new software system.
Administration officials say they’re still on track to open the online insurance marketplaces on October 1. But some experts say that even the smallest delay could jeopardize the launch of the six-month enrollment period for millions of Americans who may qualify for subsidized insurance coverage.
The White House has already delayed several key provisions of the major health insurance reform program, including a requirement that companies with 50 or more workers provide health insurance and limits on consumers’ out-of-pocket medical costs until 2015. - Read more at Reuters
50TH ANNIVERSARY OF MARCH ON WASHINGTON The president will speak at the “Let Freedom Ring” ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial at 3:05 p.m. as the highlight of a day-long celebration of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. The president will be joined by Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. Tens of thousands are expected to descend on the nation’s capital. - See event details here
ECONOMIC RACIAL GAP PERSISTS The economic disparities separating blacks and whites remain as wide as when marchers assembled on the Mall in 1963..The poverty rate for blacks, for instance, continues to be about three times that of whites, The Washington Post's Michael Fletcher writes. “The stubborn persistence of racial inequality has left policymakers at odds over what to do, and President Obama has resisted targeted efforts to erase racial economic disparities,” says Fletcher. “Instead, he has pushed policies, such as increasing college access and broadening health-care coverage, aimed at lifting the fortunes of all middle- and working-class Americans. He has said that approach will have a disproportionate and positive impact on black Americans. - Read more at The Washington Post
GENE SPERLING TO CALL IT QUITS Gene Sperling, director of the White House National Economic Council and one of the president’s top economic advisers, will leave the administration later this year. Jeffrey Zients, former director of the Office of Management and Budget, is on the short list of potential successors. -Read more at The Wall Street Journal
U.S. DEMANDS $6B FROM JPMORGAN CHASE The Federal Housing Finance Authority wants JPMorgan Chase to pay more than $6 billion to settle claims that it knowingly sold bad mortgages to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the run-up to the financial crisis. JPMorgan is resisting the payment, which would be the largest post-crisis settlement paid by any bank. - Read more at the Huffington Post
BAUCUS AND CAMP TO UNVEIL TAX PROPOSALS Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and House Ways and Means Committee chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) are expected to roll out separate proposals next month to reform the country’s complex tax code. Both measures target billions in tax breaks to offset the cost of cutting the top corporate and individual tax rates from 35 percent to 25 percent. Both chairmen are also open to tightening depreciation rules that govern how quickly companies can write off the cost of certain assets, and limiting a widely used manufacturing tax break known as the domestic activities deduction. Neither proposal is expected to gain much traction in Congress. - Read more at Reuters