Morning Action: Obamacare Website Continues to Cause Major Aggravation

OBAMACARE COMPLANTS.  CNNMoney identified the top 4 complaints of its readers on Obamacare.  One woman’s remark seems to represent the frustration of many individuals futilely trying to sign up for an insurance plan via the Obamacare website:

Many people are still having trouble signing onto, the federal exchange that’s handling enrollment for 36 states. While the site no longer leaves applicants hanging with a hold screen, many are still receiving error messages when they try to log in.

Maura Grady of Florida told CNNMoney last week that the federal site was still giving her trouble. It was not accepting her username and password. When she clicked on the Forgot Password button, she was told she’d receive an email with reset instructions. But she didn’t.

Asked whether she’d try again, she responded: “2, maybe 3 years! When I’m in the mood for some aggravation.”

OBAMACARE OBSTACLES.  Individuals are attempting to sign up for Obamacare by enrolling directly with an insurance company rather than through the failed federal website, but even this alternative approach isn’t working:

People who can’t or don’t want to sign up for Obamacare through the troubled federal website have the option of enrolling directly with an insurance company — but there’s a glitch: The insurers haven’t yet been able to make a key connection with the IT infrastructure for federal exchanges.

And without that connection, they can’t help millions of people who may be eligible for federal subsidies to purchase insurance.

It’s the flip side of the problems consumers are facing as they try to get in the front door of The health plans can’t get in the back door.

OBAMA’S DECREASED APPROVAL.  President Obama’s approval rating has decreased this quarter:

President Barack Obama averaged a 44.5% job approval rating during his 19th quarter in office, a decline of more than three percentage points from his 18th quarter. That is one of the largest quarter-to-quarter declines of his presidency, behind a nine-point drop in his third quarter and a six-point drop in his 11thquarter.

$17,000,000,000,000.  Heritage explains President Obama is going nothing to slow the growth of debt:

President Obama boasted last week that he had signed legislation to lift “the twin threats” to our economy of government shutdown and default. But what was done to fix the problem of growing debt that leads Washington to repeatedly raise the debt ceiling?

Nothing. In fact, by Friday, the U.S. debt had rocketed past $17 trillion.

WRDA.  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will host a meeting to discuss the status of the Mississippi River Hydrodynamic study, which was authorized by the Water Resource Development Act of 2007 (WRDA):

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District and the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority of Louisiana, will host a public meeting on Wednesday, October 23rd to provide a status update on the Louisiana Coastal Area – Mississippi River Hydrodynamic and Delta Management (MRHDM) Study.

This important study, authorized under Section 7003 of the Water Resource Development Act (WRDA) 2007, was initiated in August 2011 with the goal to use Mississippi River resources (freshwater and sediment/nutrients) to restore and sustain a healthy coastal ecosystem, while balancing river services.

The public meeting will include both a Technical Session during the day, as well as a Presentation and Open House Session in the evening. Both sessions will cover topics such as an Overview of the Mississippi River Hydrodynamic and Delta Management Study, Geomorphic Analysis, 1-D Modeling, Multi-Dimensional Analysis, as well as Data Collection and Management.

The Heritage Foundation recently explained there is a great deal of wasteful spending authorized by WRDA, including spending for the many backlogged projects taken up by the Army Corps of Engineers.

There are “a thousand projects sitting in the Corps’s $60 billion to $80 billion project backlog.”  As a result, Heritage recommends that Congress fix the many irresponsible provisions in WRDA.

IST.  Politico Pro reports (sub. req’d) that the Illinois Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional for Illinois to collect sales tax from online retail affiliates of Amazon based on their advertizing but not physical presence in the state:

The ruling Friday by Justice Anne Burke said that it was unconstitutional for Illinois to collect sales taxes from online retailers based on their advertising, but not physical, presence in the state. Illinois was expected to collect an estimated $212 million in 2013 from its online sales tax law.

“National, or international, performance marketing by an out-of-state retailer which appears in print or on over-the-air broadcasting in Illinois, and which reaches the same dollar threshold, will not trigger an Illinois use tax collection,” Burke wrote.

The ruling highlights an ongoing national battle over a piece of legislation called the Marketplace Fairness Act, which would give all states the authority to collect sales tax from out-of-state online sellers no matter how much presence a retailer has in any given state.

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