The Note’s Must-Reads for Wednesday, CHRISTMAS, 2013

By Will Cantine

Dec 25, 2013 3:58am

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’ Will Cantine, Amanda VanAllen and Jordan Mazza

OBAMACARE WEBSITE
ABC News’ Shushanna: “White House Extends Time For Health Care Sign-Up … Again” People who are unable to finish applying for health insurance by midnight may still be able to get coverage beginning Jan. 1 if they can show that they missed the Tuesday deadline because of problems with HealthCare.gov, the Obama administration said today. Officials caution that the deadline remains today at midnight, but will consider individual circumstances that prevented consumers from finishing their application, judging those on a case-by-case basis. LINK

The Wall Street Journal’s Christopher Weaver and Timothy W. Martin: “Health-Insurance Deadline Extended In Late Push To Boost Numbers” In a last-minute push to boost lagging enrollment in the health-insurance marketplaces, federal officials on Monday extended the deadline by 24 hours for people to sign up for coverage starting Jan. 1. The deadline was originally set for midnight on Monday, but changes made over the weekend to the federal HealthCare.gov website will allow users to sign up for the first wave of coverage through Tuesday, people familiar with the matter said. LINK

The New York Times’ Robert Pear: “Sign-Up Period Extended Again for Health Plan” The Obama administration said Tuesday that it would provide more time for people to complete their applications for health insurance if they could show that they missed the deadline because of problems with the federal health care website.  The move was the latest in a series of deadline changes, exemptions and clarifications that have confused insurers and many Americans and opened the administration to increasing criticism from Republicans who have opposed the Affordable Care Act from the start and have repeatedly tried to overturn it.  LINK

The Washington Post’s Juliet Eilperin: “Administration Extends Enrollment Deadline Once Again Tuesday” The Obama administration provided a few details Tuesday about a special enrollment period for Americans who sought to sign up through the online federal health insurance marketplace for coverage starting Jan. 1 but failed to obtain it. In a blog post under the heading, “Couldn’t enroll by December 23? We can still help you get covered,” the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid explained that individuals could reach out to a network of federally-sponsored call centers around the country any day this week besides Christmas Day to try to complete their health insurance applications.  LINK

The Hill’s Jonathan Easley: “Administration Says ObamaCare Deadline Can Be Waived For Some” The Obama administration on Tuesday pledged to accommodate ObamaCare applicants who failed to meet the Christmas Eve deadline for enrollment because of issues with the website. “If you weren’t able to enroll in an insurance plan by Dec. 23 because of problems you had using HealthCare.gov, you still may be able to get coverage that starts Jan. 1,” a message on HealthCare.gov reads. “Even though we have passed the Dec. 23 enrollment deadline for coverage starting Jan. 1, we don’t want you to miss out if you’ve been trying to enroll.” LINK

The Los Angeles Times’ David Lauter: “Amid Surge Of Applicants, Obamacare Deadline Extended – Again” Obama administration officials said that even after Tuesday’s extended deadline, they will try to arrange coverage starting Jan. 1 for people who have had trouble getting through the government’s sometimes-balky enrollment website. “Our highest priority is making sure that everyone who wants to enroll to have health care coverage by Jan. 1 is able to do so, particularly since consumers had a hard time accessing HealthCare.gov in October and November,” administration spokesperson Julie Bataille said in a statement. “As such, we are making sure we can provide information directly to consumers if and when they have questions about their particular situation, and if they are covered as of Jan. 1.” LINK

The Washington Times’ Tom Howell Jr.: “Obama Administration Sees Sharp Uptick In HealthCare.gov Users Amid Deadline” The Obama administration said Tuesday it saw “amazing interest” in the health care law’s marketplace this week, as record numbers of consumers rushed to beat pre-Christmas deadlines and be covered by Jan. 1. Call centers and other personnel helped people complete their applications for health insurance on HealthCare.gov, the federal portal that serves 36 states. The administration confirmed that the system would let consumers finish the process by 11:59 p.m. on Christmas Eve even though Monday was the deadline to have coverage by the dawn of the new year. LINK

Politico’s Edward-Isaac Dovere and David Nather: “PR Nightmare On Pennsylvania Avenue” Just when everything seems settled and people are starting to catch their breath, all of a sudden, it’s back.  That’s pretty much any disaster or monster movie. It’s also the story of the Obamacare rollout the past few months. Over and over again, Obama administration officials have promised that they’re finally getting everything under control.  LINK

NYC MAYOR-ELECT BILL DE BLASIO’S DAUGHTER
ABC News’ Abby D. Phillip: “Daughter Of NYC Mayor-Elect Bill De Blasio Reveals Depression” In a surprise Christmas Eve video, the daughter of New York City Mayor-Elect Bill de Blasio revealed her long struggle with depression and drug abuse. Chiara de Blasio, 19, was a prominent presence in her father’s campaign. Her brother, Dante, 16, was the subject of one of the most talked about political ads this year. In the video, Chiara reveals her struggle with clinical depression, which she said she has dealt with for most of her adolescence. And she discusses her struggle with alcohol dependence and marijuana use. LINK

The New York Daily News’ Caitlin Nolan, Jennifer Fermino and Larry McShane: “Chiara de Blasio Reveals Battle With Dug, Alcohol Abuse, Mayor-Elect Says He’s ‘Incredibly Proud’” As Democrat Bill de Blasio launched his long-shot bid for mayor, his teenage daughter was wrestling with a far different challenge. In a startling revelation on Christmas Eve, Chiara de Blasio announced Tuesday that she underwent treatment for depression and drug and alcohol abuse over the past year. “My mom was trying really hard to help me, any little thing she could, and my dad was doing the same. But obviously, he was really busy. But they were very emotionally committed to some way to get me better,” she said in a highly produced video, complete with strings and a tinkling piano. LINK

The Los Angeles Times’ Cathleen Decker: “Daughter Of NYC Mayor-Elect De Blasio Details Depression, Past Drug Use” The daughter of incoming New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday that she had suffered from clinical depression for years and, until recent therapy, abused alcohol and marijuana. Chiara de Blasio, 19, said that she was going public with the personal information in hopes of supporting others who were struggling. “Removing substances from my life, it’s opened so many doors for me,” she said in a video posted on YouTube. “I was actually able to participate in my dad’s campaign and that was like the greatest thing ever and now I’m doing well in school and actually getting to explore things that aren’t just partying. LINK

Bloomberg’s Henry Goldman: “NYC Mayor-Elect De Blasio’s Daughter Reveals Drug Abuse” Chiara de Blasio, the 19-year-old daughter of New York Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio, disclosed that she fought depression and substance abuse throughout her adolescence and wants to help others overcome similar problems. In an almost five-minute video with a musical soundtrack distributed today by the mayor-elect’s transition team, Chiara de Blasio, a college student who appeared in campaign commercials for her father, describes her descent into alcohol and marijuana use while struggling with anxiety and depression. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEO
Extended ‘Obamacare’ Deadline Nears EndLINK

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