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With just over a week until the March 31 deadline to sign up for health insurance, backers of the health law -- from President Barack Obama on down -- are engaged in a full-force campaign to enroll eligible Americans, especially younger ones who tend to be healthier and less costly to insure. But the landmark law still faces opposition from Republicans and a public that remains skeptical the law can improve health coverage while lowering its cost. Read more»

President Barack Obama appealed directly to Latinos on Thursday, telling them time is running out to sign up for health coverage this year and that they should enroll now to avoid problems. Read more»

The first half of the Obamacare open enrollment period is over, and yesterday, federal health officials announced sign-up figures from the first three months. Read more»

Now that the front-end of HealthCare.gov appears to be working properly, the media’s focus is quickly shifting to the back-end systems that are supposed to provide insurance companies with accurate information about consumers enrolling in their plans. Read more»

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced this morning that nearly 365,000 Americans had signed up for private health insurance under Obamacare. But amid the rush to enroll as many people as possible by the Dec. 23 deadline, there’s a huge caveat that isn’t getting much public attention: For coverage to take effect on Jan. 1, enrollees must pay their first month’s premium on time. (The deadline varies somewhat by state and by insurer.) Read more» 1

You aren’t alone if you’re confused about the deadline to sign up for coverage on the health insurance marketplaces. The deadline is — and has been — in flux. Read more»

Larry Levitt

Few groups have tracked the Affordable Care Act as closely as the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank. Integral to those efforts has been Larry Levitt, senior vice president for special initiatives at the foundation. Read more» 1

House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH)

Now that November is history, will the Obamacare website work flawlessly from now on? Or, as the president has said, will it at least work for the “vast majority” of people who need to buy insurance on their own? Read more»

GOP Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy falsely claimed Consumer Reports warned “Americans not to go to the [HealthCare.gov] website because of the fear of having fraud.” The consumer advocate initially advised people to wait until the website’s many technical problems were worked out, but it told us that its advice “was not in reference to any concerns regarding fraud.” Read more»

Conservative groups are highlighting the case of an Arizona man with leukemia whose insurance plan was canceled because it didn’t comply with the Affordable Care Act. A news report quoted the man as saying he would need to pay $26,000 to keep the same doctor. It turns out, he was able to get a new plan, which has his doctor in its network, for a lower premium and a lower out-of-pocket maximum than his old plan. Read more»

healthcare.gov screen shot

This weekend brought more than a modicum of clarity to what happened behind the scenes in the run-up to the Oct. 1 launch of Healthcare.gov. Read more»

United States Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says “it’s illegal” for her to obtain insurance on the exchanges set up by the Affordable Care Act. Rep. Cory Gardner — a Colorado Republican who asked Sebelius why she isn’t in the exchange — accused her of lying. Read more»

There seems to be no letup of bad news on the Affordable Care Act. Yesterday, Healthcare.gov, the problem-plagued federal health insurance marketplace, crashed again. And a pile of news reports focused on citizen anger over policy cancellations prompted by the law. Read more»

In some ways, the Affordable Care Act seemed to catch a break last week. Republicans in Congress failed in their attempts to repeal the law or delay its implementation. At the same time, consumers and journalists began reporting success — after many failed attempts — at creating accounts on healthcare.gov, the online home for the federal insurance marketplaces. Read more»

Critics of the Affordable Care Act rollout say its technology problems are overwhelming. Defenders point to the states, where the health insurance marketplaces seem to be working.

This weekend, I read two very different takes on the three-week-old Healthcare.gov health insurance marketplace. One was hopeful; the other decidedly not. Both are worth your time. Read more»

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