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Obama Pitches Health Care Plan

As President Barack Obama sees it, Republicans aren’t afraid that his health care overhaul will fail — they’re afraid it will succeed. He made that claim today to a crowd in suburban Maryland, with just five days to go before Americans can start signing up for coverage.

President Barack Obama waves to the crowd after speaking about health care at the Prince Georges Community College in Maryland
President Barack Obama waves to the crowd after speaking about health care at the Prince Georges Community College in Maryland (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Obama says Republicans are making “crazy” doomsday predictions about the law’s impact.

But Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, on the Senate floor today, said the law is a “mess” — and that Obama is trying to sell it to a skeptical public. McConnell says health care overhaul “needs to go,” and that it’s “way past time to start over.” He says it must be “frustrating” to Obama that people keep “tuning out” what McConnell calls “the happy talk” about the health care plan.

With polls showing many Americans still skeptical of the law, the president went back to the basics today of explaining how 50 million uninsured Americans will be able to buy coverage in new government-run exchanges.

Obama says as that day draws closer, Republicans are getting “more desperate” in trying to block implementation.

House Republicans are inserting provisions to undermine the health care law into measures needed to avoid a government shutdown and to increase the government’s borrowing ability.

Health law online signup delayed for small firms

WASHINGTON (AP) — Administration officials are quietly telling key interest groups to expect initial glitches signing up online for coverage under President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul.

Two sources tell The Associated Press that small businesses will not be able to enroll online starting Oct. 1 when new health insurance markets go live. Instead, one of the sources, a person who was briefed on the situation, said business owners will initially have to mail or fax their information so that they can enroll.

The sources spoke on condition of anonymity because an official announcement hasn’t yet been made.

Separately, the administration told Hispanic groups that the Spanish-language version of its healthcare.gov website will be not be ready to handle enrollments for a few weeks. An estimated 10 million Latinos are eligible for coverage.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved)

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