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Week In The News: Typhoon Recovery, Obamacare Reversal, Iranian Stalemate

Typhoon tragedy.  Obamacare reversal. New guidelines for statins. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

President Barack Obama speaks about his signature health care law, Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013, in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington. Bowing to pressure, President Barack Obama intends to permit continued sale of individual insurance plans that have been canceled because they failed to meet coverage standards under the health care law, officials said Thursday. (AP)

President Barack Obama speaks about his signature health care law, Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013, in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington. Bowing to pressure, President Barack Obama intends to permit continued sale of individual insurance plans that have been canceled because they failed to meet coverage standards under the health care law, officials said Thursday. (AP)

Big news on health reform this week.  President Obama stands down on a hot portion of Obamacare.  The “you can keep your coverage” promise will be kept, for a while.  It’s a reversal.  And knives are out for more.  In the Philippines, an epic typhoon leaves devastation so deep that relief is hard to deliver, even when it comes.  Now it’s hunger and thirst.  We’ve got Janet Yellen lining up to be Fed chief.  John Boehner saying no to big immigration reform.  Heat over nuclear talks with Iran.  A giant airline merger.  And Amazon does a Sunday deal with the US Mail.  Up next On Point:  Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

— Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Margaret Talev, White House correspondent for Bloomberg News. (@margarettalev)

Ben Pauker, managing editor at Foreign Policy. (@BenPauker)

Jack Beatty, On Point News Analyst

From Tom’s Reading List

Washington Post: Obama Needs His Friends Back — “On Tuesday, a Quinnipiac University poll showed Obama with the lowest approval rating of his presidency. Only 39 percent approved of his performance; 54 percent disapproved. The numbers echoed those of a recent Pew survey that pegged the president’s job approval at 41 percent, with 53 percent disapproving. In situations of this sort, there is always a search for an instant repair. ‘Fix the Web site’ is the most obvious, and it’s certainly necessary. But a tech problem has been compounded by the reality of health-care reform itself. ”

Wall Street Journal: Escape From Obamacare — “The particular irony of this Democratic flight for the exits is that their bill would make ObamaCare even less viable. If people are allowed to choose a competitive insurance alternative, the exchanges are unlikely to survive financially. That’s why the White House is trying to stuff in as many people as possible, however unsuccessfully. House Republicans have the better argument. There’s a substantive difference between letting people keep their plans through deregulation and through a new mandate that is supposed to counteract the damage from the old mandates. They should build on this insight and promote more ways for people to elude ObamaCare if they prefer.”

Foreign Policy: John Kerry’s Iran Briefing Succeeds…In Solidifying GOP Against Him — “In an effort to slam the brakes on a new round of Iran sanctions coming through Congress, Secretary of State John Kerry held a classified briefing with the Senate Banking Committee on Wednesday. Although the purpose of the briefing was to convey how new sanctions could derail the delicate negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program, Republicans stormed out of the closed-door session in opposition to the Obama administration’s message. At the same time, top Democrats remained silent or refused to comment as they exited the Capitol.”

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