The Note’s Must-Reads for Tuesday, November 5, 2013

By Will Cantine

Nov 5, 2013 3:13am

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

GAY RIGHTS
ABC News’ Arlette Saenz: “Gay Rights In Workplace Bill Advances In Senate” The Senate cleared its first procedural hurdle today on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), legislation which would ban discrimination in the workplace based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The Senate voted this evening 61-30 in favor of invoking cloture on the motion to proceed to ENDA. One more procedural vote remains until the Senate can vote on final passage. Seven Republicans — Sens. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., Susan Collins, R-Maine, Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, Dean Heller, R-Nev., Mark Kirk, R-Ill., Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Pat Toomey, R-Pa. — joined 54 Democrats in voting to advance the legislation. LINK

The Hill’s Ramsey Cox: “Senate Advances Gay Rights Bill” The Senate voted 61-30 on Monday to begin debate on legislation that would create workplace protections for gay and transgender people in all 50 states. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) received the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster, and will now have to move through a series of procedural hurdles before final Senate passage, which is expected later this week. LINK

The Los Angeles Times’ Michael A. Memoli: “Gay Rights Bill Clears Key Hurdle In Senate” The gay rights movement won at least a preliminary victory Monday as the Senate voted to advance a measure that would ban workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The 61-30 procedural vote does not necessarily predict the final outcome, expected later this week. But statements of support from Republicans ensured that the bill known as the Employment Non-Discrimination Act could attract the necessary 60 votes to overcome any additional procedural hurdles. LINK

The Washington Post’s Paul Kane: “Senate Close To Passing Bill To Ban Discrimination Against Gay Workers” The Senate moved closer to passing a historic piece of legislation Monday that would ban discrimination against gay workers, signaling a dramatic shift in political attitudes on the issue. Seven Republicans joined 54 members of the Democratic caucus in voting to formally begin considering the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). The 61 to 30 margin virtually guarantees its passage this week. LINK

Politico’s Seung Min Kim: “Gay Rights Measure Advances In Senate” The Senate on Monday advanced legislation banning workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity — marking a victory for gay rights supporters despite the bill’s dim House prospects. The measure, known as the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, cleared a key test vote on Monday evening, 61 to 30. The bill appeared to clinch 60 Senate votes — the threshold needed to avoid a filibuster — after Dean Heller (R-Nev.) said he would endorse the bill earlier Monday. LINK

The New York Daily News’ Adam Edelman: “Maine Rep. Michael Michaud: ‘Yes, I Am Gay’” A popular Maine Congressman publicly came out as gay Monday in a poignant article that was published in multiple newspapers in the state. Democratic Rep. Michael Michaud, who is also running to be governor of the Pine Tree state, made the personal admission in a column published in the Portland Press Herald and the Bangor Daily News entitled, “Yes, I am gay. ‘But why should it matter?’” LINK

The Washington Post’s Aaron Blake: “In Maine Race, Rep. Michaud Says He’s Gay” Rep. Mike Michaud (D-Maine), who is running for governor of Maine in 2014, announced Monday that he is gay. In an op-ed article published in two Maine newspapers, Michaud said decided to come out publicly after his opponents launched a “whisper campaign” about his sexuality. “They want people to question whether I am gay,” Michaud wrote in the article, published by the Bangor Daily News and Portland Press Herald. “Allow me to save them the trouble with a simple, honest answer: ‘Yes, I am. But why should it matter?’” LINK

HEALTH CARE
USA Today’s Aamer Madhani: “Obama Asks Supporters To Hang Tough On Health Care” President Obama attempted to buck up the spirit of grassroots organizers on Monday following several weeks of bad news over the troubled roll-out of his signature health care law. Speaking to more than 200 organizers and activists gathered by Organizing for Action, the political group founded by high-ranking alumni of his two political campaigns, Obama began an effort to reframe the public conversation over the Affordable Care Act that has been overshadowed by the problems with the roll-out. LINK

The Wall Street Journal’s Christopher Weaver and Timothy Martin: “Young Avoid New Health Plans” Insurers say the early buyers of health coverage on the nation’s troubled new websites are older than expected so far, raising early concerns about the economics of the insurance marketplaces. If the trend continues, an older, more expensive set of customers could drive up prices for everyone, the insurers say, by forcing them to spread their costs around. “We need a broad range of people to make this work, and we’re not seeing that right now,” said Heather Thiltgen of Medical Mutual of Ohio, the state’s largest insurer by individual customers. “We’re seeing the population skewing older.” LINK

The Washington Times’ Ben Wolfgang: “Obama Adds An ‘If’ To His ‘You Can Keep Your Plan’ Promise” In his latest defense of his troubled health care reform law, President Obama on Monday night massaged past statements and told supporters that the administration had indeed promised Americans they could keep their insurance plans — as long as they hadn’t been changed.  His remarks, offered at a gathering of Organizing for Action volunteers in Washington, were the latest attempt by the White House to square its repeated past promises that no one would be forcibly kicked off an insurance plan with the fact that many Americans now face exactly that scenario. LINK

Bloomberg’s Alex Wayne and Kathleen Miller: “Obamacare Expedited Bidding Limited Who Could Build Site” The race to construct an online insurance exchange by Oct. 1 spurred the Obama administration to use an expedited bidding system that limited its choice of a builder to just four companies, including CGI Group Inc. Eighteen months elapsed after passage of the 2010 health-care overhaul before CGI was selected to begin work, government documents show. LINK

The Hill’s Elise Viebeck: “HHS: Expect Outages At HealthCare.Gov” Federal health officials said that consumers can expect further outages at ObamaCare’s troubled enrollment portal as the site undergoes repairs in the next four weeks. A spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) downplayed the site’s semi-regular breakdowns, widely interpreted as a sign of the deep technical problems facing repair teams. ”This really is an expected part of the process as we make improvements,” said Julie Bataille, communications director for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEO
White House Defends Healthcare.gov ‘Bypass’LINK
Obamacare Phone, Mail Signup Uses Same System As WebsiteLINK

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