The Note's Must-Reads for Wednesday October 2, 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, Amanda VanAllen, Jayce Henderson and Will Cantine

SHUTDOWN ABC News' Devin Dwyer: " Shutdown Could Cost $300 Million a Day" The government shutdown comes with a hefty price tag - $300 million per day, according the economic consulting firm IHS Global Insight. The figure translates to about $12.5 million an hour, or roughly $1.6 billion a week, while the government is closed. The IHS analysis, shared with ABC News, accounts only for the lost wages and productivity from the nearly 800,000 furloughed federal workers. The calculation assumes an average annual salary per employee of $110,000 - essentially classifying that lost income as lost U.S. economic output (GDP) in the interim. LINK

The New York Times' Jackie Calmes and Jeremy W. Peters: " Obama Tells Republicans To 'Reopen The Government'" President Obama admonished House Republicans on Tuesday to quit fighting his three-year-old health care law and to "reopen the government," a show of defiance that reflected Democrats' confidence that conservatives have overreached after years of budget battles with the White House. "As long as I am president, I will not give in to reckless demands by some in the Republican Party to deny affordable health insurance to millions of hard-working Americans," Mr. Obama said from the Rose Garden, flanked by new beneficiaries of the insurance program. LINK

The Boston Globe's Tracy Jan: " Tarnished by shutdown battle, health law moves ahead" Americans lacking health insurance will be able to sign up for coverage beginning Tuesday, federal officials say, despite Tea Party Republicans' efforts to torpedo President Obama's health care law or cripple its implementation. But the debut of the health insurance marketplaces - a critical component of the law that mandates most Americans obtain insurance by January - has been tarnished, politically and practically, by the threat of a government shutdown. LINK

The Washington Times' Dave Boyer and Ben Wolfgang: " Obama accepts no blame for shutdown" President Obama on Tuesday laid the blame for the government shutdown entirely on congressional Republicans, rejecting any responsibility for the stalemate and calling it "a Republican shutdown" caused by spite over Obamacare. Although polls fault both sides for the standoff, the White House insisted Tuesday that Mr. Obama was blameless for Washington's dysfunction. LINK

The Washington Post's Karen Tumulty and Lori Montgomery: " Washington Braces For Prolonged Government Shutdown" Washington began bracing for a prolonged government shutdown on Tuesday, with House Republicans continuing to demand that the nation's new health-care law be delayed or repealed and President Obama and the Democrats refusing to give in. There were signs on Capitol Hill that Republicans - knowing that blame almost certainly will fall most heavily on them - are beginning to look for ways to lift some of the pressure. LINK

The Washington Post's David Nakamura and Juliet Eilperin: " Amid Government Shutdown, Obama Under Pressure To Cancel Week-Long Asia Trip" President Obama's overtures to Asia have been built on the twin premises that the United States will be a reliable partner and that its democratic values are to be emulated. But Obama now finds himself preparing to leave for a week-long trip to the region amid the first U.S. government shutdown in 17 years - and facing political pressure to remain in Washington during the crisis. LINK

Politico's Reid J. Epstein: " Government Shutdown May Keep Obama Grounded" It's hard to win a political argument in Washington when you're half a world away. President Barack Obama learned that the hard way last month, when he traveled to Sweden and Russia and was unable to fight congressional opponents to U.S. military intervention in Syria took hold for good. Now with no end in sight to a government shutdown, the White House is slowly laying the groundwork toward canceling Obama's planned week-long trip to Southeast Asia - an acknowledgement that both the shutdown isn't likely to end soon and that leaving town before it's over would be political malpractice. LINK

Politico's David Rogers: " Piecemeal Bills Get No Traction" The government shutdown fight in Congress took a new ugly turn Tuesday night as Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee bowed to their party leaders and took piecemeal bills to the floor under procedures designed to deny their Democratic colleagues any input. The result was a partisan slugfest and dramatic illustration of how much the committee has been reduced to being a political tool for Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). LINK

USA Today's Susan Page: " News analysis: Can this government be saved?" Count on the Greatest Generation to storm the shutdown. A group of World War II veterans from Mississippi, on a long-scheduled excursion to Washington, managed to push past the metal barricades that were blocking access to the World War II Memorial on Tuesday because of the government shutdown and move in to place wreaths, read plaques and take photos. In the rest of the capital, however, there was no such decisive action on Day 1 of what could be an extended government closure. Most of the energy around town was focused on trying to frame the debate so the other side would get the blame for the loss of government services, the furloughing of 800,000 federal workers and, potentially, the hit to a fragile economy. LINK

The Hill's Bernie Becker and Russell Berman: " Democrats reject GOP strategy" The government shut down on Tuesday, and it doesn't look like it is going to reopen anytime soon. The first federal shutdown in 17 years began with 800,000 federal employees furloughed and Senate Democrats rejecting a House Republican bill to set up a formal conference committee on a government funding bill. LINK

HEALTH CARE The Wall Street Journal's Christopher Weaver, Timothy Martin and Louise Radnofsky: " Health Exchanges Open, With Glitches" The health-insurance marketplaces at the center of President Barack Obama's health law saw a surge of consumer interest Tuesday that surprised even many of the law's backers. But the debut proved patchy, with few applicants actually able to buy coverage on clogged websites that were bedeviled with technological problems.Federal officials said more than 2.8 million visitors between midnight and late afternoon contributed to long wait times for access to, the website they are running for 36 states. LINK

Bloomberg's Alex Nussbaum: " Obamacare Demands Signals Potential Success for Exchanges" Obamacare's opening day drew millions of consumers to the law's core insurance exchanges, offering supporters and investors confidence that if the websites can stay up and running, customers will follow. In New York, officials said their exchange had 2.5 million visitors in its first half hour. California reported as many as 16,000 hits a second. And U.S. officials recorded 2.8 million visitors to the federal website,, even as it fought technical problems much of the day. LINK

IMMIGRATION ABC News' Jim Avila and Serena Marshall: " House Democrats to Introduce Immigration Reform Bill" House Democrats, frustrated by the lack of action by House leadership and fearing all hope of a bi-partisan comprehensive immigration reform bill is lost, are expected to introduce an immigration bill of their own today. House sources tell ABC News the Democratic bill will mirror the bipartisan legislation passed by the Senate in late June - including both increased border security and a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants. Congressional aides who have seen the bill say much of it came from the months of work done by the "Gang of 7," before it broke apart in the House late last month, with influential Republicans abandoning the effort over disagreements on health care costs. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEOS " Obama: 'Republican Shutdown Did Not Have to Happen'" LINK " Obama Refuses to Negotiate With GOP's 'Reckless Demands'" LINK " Harry Reid's Shutdown Anger in 90 Seconds" LINK

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