The Note’s Must-Reads for Wednesday, October 23, 2013

By Will Cantine

Oct 23, 2013 3:51am

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 www.abcnews.com

Compiled by ABC News’ Jayce Henderson, Amanda VanAllen, Will Cantine and Carrie Halperin

TEA PARTY
ABC News’ Nicki Rossi: “Florida Congressman Compares Tea Party to Ku Klux Klan” What’s the ‘T’ in tea party stand for?  For Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., it represents a Ku Klux Klan’s burning cross. Grayson’s 2014 re-election campaign sent out fundraising email today that compared the tea party movement to the KKK, titled, “The Tea Party: No More Popular Than The Klan.” LINK

HEALTH CARE
The New York Times’ Sheryl Gay Stolberg: “Sebelius Thrust Into Firestorm On Exchanges” The first, and perhaps most painful, call for Kathleen Sebelius to resign as President Obama’s health secretary came this month from an old family friend: Senator Pat Roberts, Republican of Kansas, who once boasted of a “special relationship” with Ms. Sebelius, forged when he worked for her father-in-law. Now Ms. Sebelius, the former Kansas governor who is the public face of Mr. Obama’s health care overhaul, is facing a barrage of criticism over the problem-plagued rollout of its online insurance exchange. For Republicans, still reeling from their failed “defund Obamacare” strategy and government shutdown, she has proved an easy target. LINK

The Washington Post’s Juliet Eilperin and Amy Goldstein: “Two Key Parts Of Online Health Insurance Exchange Will Take Longer To Fix Than Expected” The Obama administration acknowledged Tuesday that two key parts of its online health insurance marketplace will take longer than expected to fix, even as it brought back a former senior White House official to help diagnose and correct the Web site’s flaws. LINK

Politico’s Jennifer Haberkorn and Jessica Meyers: “White House Works To Flip Obamacare Narrative” The Obama administration is scrambling on multiple fronts to salvage the Obamacare web site and change the negative narrative for the president’s signature health care law. On Wednesday the CEOs of several health insurance companies will head to the White House to meet with adviser Valerie Jarrett and chief of staff Denis McDonough,two industry sources said. And a top Health and Human Services official will update House Democrats on the glitchy health care enrollment site. LINK

The Hills’ Justin Sink: “Obama picks Zients to oversee ObamaCare website fixes” The White House on Tuesday announced it was dispatching former acting Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Jeff Zients to counsel the administration team working frantically to salvage the 
ObamaCare website. The administration said Zients would help lead the project, which will also include experts from Silicon Valley, government contractors and scholars working to fix the technical problems that have dogged the launch of the president’s signature healthcare program. LINK
The Los Angeles Times’ Maeve Reston: “Obama calls on his supporters to join ‘Team Obamacare’Could the activists of the 2012 presidential campaign come to Obamacare’s rescue? With the website for the nation’s new healthcare program mired in structural problems that could take weeks — if not months — to fix, President Obama appealed to his supporters in a video Tuesday to join “Team Obamacare” and help counter the law’s critics. LINK

USA Today’s Aamer Madhani: “Health care website problems jeopardize Obama’s legacy” As his administration scrambles to fix the online enrollment process under the Affordable Care Act, President Obama is facing a challenge that threatens to undercut the most significant legislative victory of his presidency.  The difficulty of the situation, and the pressing need to find a solution, was underscored on Tuesday when the White House announced that Obama has tapped Jeffrey Zients, a former deputy White House budget director who has helped the president fix other troubled government programs, to lead the embattled Department of Health and Human Services’ effort to repair the online exchange. LINK

The Washington Times’ Tom Howell Jr.: “GOP: Did Obamacare site hide prices?” The House’s top investigators want to know if the Obama administration made a political decision to get rid of an online tool that would have allowed uninsured Americans to comparison-shop among private health plans on the federal Obamacare website before registering for an account. Rep. Darrell Issa, California Republican and chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, wrote to the administration’s top information technology officers on Tuesday to demand answers about the purported maneuver. LINK
The Boston Globe’s Tracy Jan: “Obama admits frustration with snarled insurance site” A frustrated President Obama on Monday acknowledged the extensive technical failings of a new federal website through which millions of Americans are supposed to sign up for health insurance, but he said he would fix it before the problems eclipse his groundbreaking health care law. “There’s no sugar-coating it,” Obama said in a speech from the Rose Garden. “The website has been too slow, people have been getting stuck during the application process. And I think it’s fair to say that nobody is more frustrated by that than I am.” LINK

IRS
Bloomberg’s Richard Rubin: “IRS Delays Start of 2014 U.S. Tax Filing Citing Shutdown” The U.S. Internal Revenue Service delayed the start of the tax-filing season for one to two weeks, citing the recent 16-day federal government shutdown. The IRS, which had been scheduled to open filing Jan. 21, 2014, will now begin accepting returns for tax year 2013 as early as Jan. 28. The agency will make a final decision on the date in December, according to a statement today. LINK

 ABC NEWS VIDEO
New Poll Shows Record Disapproval Rating for CongressLINK

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