The Note's Must-Reads for Monday October 28, 2013

The Note's Must-Reads are a round-up of today's political headlines and stories from ABC News and the top U.S. newspapers. Posted Monday through Friday right here at

Compiled by ABC News' Carrie Halperin, Jayce Henderson and Amanda VanAllen

NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY ABC News: " Obama Reportedly Unaware of World Leader Phone Tapping" U.S. officials responded Sunday night to a report that the National Security Agency ended a program used to spy on German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other world leaders only after an internal Obama administration review started this summer exposed the operation. An unnamed senior official told The Wall Street Journal that the White House "cut off some monitoring programs after learning of them, including the one tracking Ms. Merkel and some other world leaders. Other programs have been slated for termination but haven't been phased out completely yet." LINK

The Washington Times' Ben Wolfgang: " GOP lawmakers: Allies may be snooping, should be thankful to U.S. " As outrage in Europe grows, lawmakers are defending U.S. surveillance practices - including phone tapping - and saying other nations likely engage in similar spying, even if their leaders don't know it. Top members of Congress also suggest that Germany, France and other nations should be thankful for, rather than angry about, American snooping. LINK

The Hill's Justin Sink: " Report: Obama unaware NSA spied on world leaders" The White House was unaware of National Security Agency surveillance targeting world leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and ordered the spy agency to cease some monitoring programs after learning of them, according to a report Sunday in The Wall Street Journal. LINK

BUDGET The Boston Globe's Noah Bierman: " President Obama, allies at odds on budget" A united front among congressional Democrats helped President Obama beat back the GOP in the recent budget showdown. But in the next fiscal tussle, set to begin this week, Democrats may be heading toward a party split that could prevent a lasting deal to stop the constant threat of shutdowns and defaults. Influential liberals, led by Senator Elizabeth Warren and other New England lawmakers, are fighting Obama's offer to compromise with Republicans on changes to Social Security. The president has proposed the change in benefits in hopes of corralling Republican support for his budget and protecting the program from more sweeping cuts. LINK

HEALTH CARE The Wall Street Journal's Siobhan Gorman and Adam Entous: " Obama Unaware as U.S. Spied on World Leaders: Officials" The National Security Agency ended a program used to spy on German Chancellor Angela Merkel and a number of other world leaders after an internal Obama administration review started this summer revealed to the White House the existence of the operation, U.S. officials said. Officials said the internal review turned up NSA monitoring of some 35 world leaders, in the U.S. government's first public acknowledgment that it tapped the phones of world leaders. European leaders have joined international outrage over revelations of U.S. surveillance of Ms. Merkel's phone and of NSA's monitoring of telephone call data in France. LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Chad Terhune: " Some health insurance gets pricier as Obamacare rolls out " Thousands of Californians are discovering what Obamacare will cost them - and many don't like what they see. These middle-class consumers are staring at hefty increases on their insurance bills as the overhaul remakes the healthcare market. LINK

The New York Times' Annie Lowrey: " Health Site's Woes Could Dissuade Vital Enrollee: the Young and Healthy " Sean Jackson, like tens of thousands of other Americans, has had trouble signing up for medical coverage using the insurance marketplace, despite several attempts. "I was able to create an account on Oct. 2, and I haven't been able to get into there since," said Mr. Jackson, a sports journalist living in Ohio, a note of annoyance in his voice. LINK

Politico's Jessica Meyers: " Obamacare's tech no easy fix for Silicon Valley" Silicon Valley always knew it couldn't fix Washington and its bureaucratic messes. Now it has even more proof. The debacle has reinforced the divide between the global capital of innovation and an establishment culture known for clunky methods, stilted processes and government entanglements. LINK

Bloomberg's Mike Dorning: " Obamacare Website Flaws Imperil President's Activist Agenda" The rocky debut of the insurance exchanges at the heart of President Barack Obama's health-care law poses risks to his political agenda and the activist role for government that he has championed for his second term. White House officials say they expect a surge in online enrollment to begin in mid-November, meaning the administration may have only about three weeks to fix the flaws before negative public perceptions about the new program begin to harden. LINK

HILLARY CLINTON The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza: " If Hillary Rodham Clinton passes in 2016, which Democrats run? The Fix ranks the tiers." Every conversation we have with any Democratic operative about the 2016 presidential race starts this way: "Well, I mean if Hillary runs .?.?." Which, of course, is to be expected. If Hillary Rodham Clinton - the former secretary of state, former New York senator and 2008 presidential candidate - runs, then the Democratic race (and the general election, too) revolves around her. But, of late, those conversations have an interesting addendum that goes like this: "Of course, if Elizabeth Warren wanted to do it, she'd have a case to make." LINK

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