The Note's Must-Reads for Friday, November 15, 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' Jayce Henderson, Amanda VanAllen, Will Cantine and Jordan Mazza

PRESIDENT OBAMA / HEALTH CARE ABC News' Michael Falcone: " Five Signs Obama's Second Term Is In Serious Trouble" President Obama is at one at one of the lowest points of his presidency. His poll numbers are slumping, the health care bill that he was counting on to be one of his lasting legacies has been tarnished by technical problems and even fellow Democrats are up in arms. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Carole E. Lee and Louise Radnofsky: " White House to Allow Insurers to Continue Canceled Health Plans" President Barack Obama, in a retreat aimed at quelling the latest protest over his health-care law, on Thursday said insurers can extend by one year those policies they had canceled for failing to meet the law's requirements. Mr. Obama accompanied the policy shift with an admission of personal responsibility for the botched launch of the program. LINK

USA Today's Kelly Kennedy: " Medicaid enrollment is health law's bright spot" Amid the low enrollment numbers for health insurance via the website, the Obama administration found one bright spot: Medicaid. Almost 400,000 people have learned they are eligible to enroll in the states' Medicaid programs, and the numbers are high even in Republican-dominated states that have chosen not to expand the program. LINK

The Hill's Alexander Bolton and Russell Berman: " Obama fails to calm jittery Dems" President Obama failed to put jittery Democrats at ease Thursday with a proposal he said would allow millions of people to keep their insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act. Democrats facing tough reelection races in 2014 praised Obama's proposed administrative fix but said it did not go far enough. "It's not a magic wand that makes every other concern disappear. The website's not working, that's still a problem," said a Senate Democratic aide. LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Cathleen Decker: " Obama's Obamacare solution: Dose of humility, new promises to fix it" Whether President Obama's latest apology for the crash-and-burn rollout of his signature healthcare plan helps his case will only be known over time. What was undeniable Thursday was that the gravity of the issue finally has hit home in the White House. Gone were the weird and sometimes passive constructions, as in his interview with NBC News last week when he said, regarding people who had gotten cancellation notices: "I am sorry that they, you know, are finding themselves in this situation, based on assurances they got from me." LINK

The New York Daily News' Dan Friedman: " Obama admits fumbled health care rollout is 'on me,' says his administration will have to earn back credibility" Bowing to pressure from outraged consumers and panicky Democrats, President Obama said Thursday that insurers can keep consumers on health-care plans that do not meet the standards of Obamacare. The waiver from one of the bedrock elements of his health care reform is for one year, and only for people who want to continue on substandard plans, not new purchasers of those policies. LINK

The New York Times' Reed Abelson and Abby Goodnough: " Obama Proposal Worries Insurers And Regulators" President Obama's effort to quiet a political uproar by suggesting on Thursday that consumers should be allowed to keep their current health plans met significant resistance from many insurers and state regulators, who said they had not been consulted in advance about the proposal, doubted it could work and feared it might seriously damage the new insurance marketplace. LINK

Politico's Jennifer Epstein and Jonathan Allen: " Obamacare Fix: Keep Plans" President Barack Obama gave a rare and extensive "mea culpa" news conference Thursday on the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, as he repeatedly conceded that he and his administration had made mistakes in implementing key pieces of his signature policy achievement. "We fumbled the rollout on this health care law," Obama said. "I'm very frustrated," he said during the news conference lasted almost an hour, "but I'm also somebody who, if I fumble the ball, you know, I'm going to wait until I get the next play, and then I'm going to try to run as hard as I can and do right by the team. So, you know, ultimately I'm the head of this team. We did fumble the ball on it. And what I'm going to do is make sure that we get it fixed." LINK

The Washington Post's Juliet Eilperin, Amy Goldstein and Lena H. Sun: " Obama Announces Change To Address Health Insurance Cancellations" President Obama relented to pressure from the public and his own party Thursday and changed one of the bedrock requirements of the new health-care law to fulfill his promise to allow people to keep their insurance plans if they want. While the move was aimed at solving a problem that was threatening the president's credibility and public faith in the law, it raised a slew of new questions, including whether insurers would adjust, whether millions of customers would pay higher premiums and whether states would make the fix available. LINK

The Boston Globe's Tracy Jan and Noah Bierman: " Obama yields on below-par insurance" President Obama, bowing Thursday to pressure from Democratic allies and seeking to ease the controversy engulfing his health care law, said he will allow insurance companies to continue providing insurance coverage that falls short of new standards for an additional year. Brought about by a self-inflicted wound, it was a major concession by the president on a core element of his 2010 Affordable Care Act. LINK

The Washington Times' Ben Wolfgang: " Obama admits he 'fumbled,' says Americans can keep their health care" Conceding that he has "fumbled" the rollout to his signature health care reform law, President Obama on Thursday said he will use executive authority to craft a series of loopholes to allow some Americans to keep their insurance policies for at least another year. The unexpected compromise was announced amid growing revolt within Mr. Obama's own party over his broken promise that Americans who liked their insurance could keep it. But it sparked another backlash as some legal scholars questioned whether the president had the authority to create the loophole, and some state insurance commissioners said they would ignore Mr. Obama's directive. LINK

IRAN Bloomberg's Margaret Talev and Terry Atlas: " Obama Says U.S. Loses Nothing by Waiting on Iran Talks" U.S. President Barack Obama defended offering Iran "modest" relief on sanctions in exchange for progress on nuclear talks and urged Congress to hold off on imposing more economic penalties. "We can dial those sanctions right back up" if Iran doesn't live up to an agreement, Obama said today at a White House news conference. "If we're serious about pursuing diplomacy, then there's no need for us to add new sanctions on top of the sanctions that are already very effective and that brought them to the table in the first place." LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEO " Obama Focuses on Economy in Cleveland as Health Care Turmoil Continues" LINK

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