People get information on California's health exchange at a table at Union Station in Los Angeles on Tuesday, the exchange's opening day.
Credit Sarah Varney
Pardit Pri was excited to learn the new health insurance exchanges could help her.
Credit Sarah Varney
Pardit Pri had health insurance until she quit her job as a legal administrative assistant to stay home with a new baby. Now that baby is 20 months old, and the Orange County, Calif., resident still hasn't found a job with insurance coverage.
Pardit Pri had health insurance until she decided to quit her job as a legal administrative assistant and stay home with her newborn son 20 months ago. She thought she'd have coverage by now. But it didn't work out that way.
"I knew that I wasn't going to be working for a while because I decided to stay home with my son, and I thought ... 'OK, fingers crossed. Nothing will happen during that time,' " she says, as she plays with her son in their Orange County, Calif., apartment.
After more than two decades in city government, Bill Averill has a pretty impressive mental inventory of Milwaukee real estate. He started in the city assessor's office when he was 34, after leaving a private sector job that paid better but had no retirement benefits.
"That was one of the main reasons I went to work for the City of Milwaukee," he says. "And so I knew the pension at some time, way out in the future, would be a benefit to me."
It's not every day federal authorities get to bust a case like this. It involves millions of dollars, illicit drugs and a would-be assassin, all of which allegedly were bought and sold on the Internet, in a shadowy online marketplace known as the Silk Road. On Tuesday, federal authorities shut down that site and arrested 29-year-old Ross Ulbricht, the man they say is its mastermind.
Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 10:52 am
Among the temporary casualties of the government shutdown, besides the paychecks of 800,000 workers, are all federally funded tourist attractions.
Sure, it's a bummer for those who planned vacations around the Smithsonian museums and galleries, national parks and national monuments (although barricades didn't stop some veterans at the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., Tuesday).
Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 6:47 am
The FBI has moved to crack down on a shadowy back channel of the Internet — where transactions take place outside of easily accessible domains — arresting the alleged proprietor of the black-market site Silk Road, which has been called the eBay of the drug trade.
Ross William Ulbricht, 29, known by his hacker handle "Dread Pirate Roberts," was arrested Tuesday morning in San Francisco and charged with one count each of narcotics trafficking conspiracy, computer hacking conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigations' court filing.
Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 3:18 am
It's Day 2 of the partial shutdown of the federal government. Republicans do not seem ready to compromise on defunding the Affordable Care Act. There are no negotiations between the White House and Congress.
Some federal employees have to work despite the closure, while others have been told not to report to work. On Morning Edition, we hear some voices of folks who have already felt the impact of the shutdown. They say they feel "frustrated," and think the partial shutdown is "ridiculous."
In Washington, D.C., dozens of businesses are running shutdown specials for government employees. Furloughed workers can head to several local eateries for a cup of coffee, cupcakes and even pizza — all free when they show a government ID.
Many Americans got "please wait" messages Tuesday when they tried to start shopping for health coverage on the federal government's new health insurance website, healthcare.gov. A series of technological glitches, delays and crashes kept people from getting to several of the 16 state exchanges, too.
The number of people who leave their countries to work abroad is soaring, according to the United Nations. More than 200 million people now live outside their country of origin, up from 150 million a decade ago.
And migration isn't just from poor countries to rich countries anymore. There also is significant migration from rich country to rich country — and even from poor country to poor.
Beginning Thursday, the U.N. will hold a high-level meeting on the subject in New York.
And next, let's talk with Representative David Schweikert. He's in the studio with us. He's an Arizona Republican lawmaker, a member of the House majority that has insisted they will not approve a short-term government funding measure unless it also takes a bite from Obamacare.
Government workers protest the possibility of a federal shutdown in Chicago. Nearly 100 employees from federal agencies including the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Housing and Urban Development rallied in a downtown plaza Monday.
After weeks of wondering what would happen, Americans now know:
1. Congress missed the midnight funding deadline for the new fiscal year, triggering disruptions in government operations.
2. That will slow economic growth, at least in the short term.
But just how far the damage will go is far from clear. Economists say they can't refine their predictions because they have no idea how long the shutdown might last or how many federal workers may be furloughed.
Amazon has announced that it's looking to hire 70,000 full-time temporary employees for the holiday season. That's a 40 percent increase in hires from last year. The world's largest online retailer says it hopes to convert thousands of these seasonal jobs into permanent positions after the holiday rush.
In our talk yesterday with President Obama, he said he will not make concessions to Republicans who quote, "threatened to burn down the house." We are hearing parts of the interview throughout today's program.
Amid the latest political crisis, our economy keeps evolving. And so we used part of our conversation in the Oval Office to ask the president about the longer term trends.
In the three years since President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law, it has survived more than 50 votes in Congress to defund or repeal it, a Supreme Court challenge, a presidential election and, as of Tuesday morning, a government shutdown. Much of the spending for the law is mandatory and won't be cut off.
But now, it must survive its own implementation.
Tuesday is the day that Obamacare goes operational. Americans can begin signing up for health insurance on online marketplaces known as exchanges.
Now, even as a partial shutdown begins, a bigger fight looms. A default on federal debt obligations could have global effects. Federal borrowing authority expires in the middle of this month. House Republicans have said they will not extend the debt ceiling unless President Obama accepts a long list of their agenda items. And that was on the president's mind when we sat by the Oval Office fireplace yesterday.
The Sweden-based company plans to roll out solar panels in 17 British stores over the next 10 months. The company does say the solar panels will look like flat screen televisions on your roof. Basic solar packages will be sold for more than $9,000.
Financial markets across the world took a hit on Monday. They closed lower — waiting to see if there was a partial government shutdown in the U.S. Shortly before midnight, the White House ordered agencies to begin shutting down.
It's news many airline passengers have waited to hear: The Federal Aviation Administration may allow smartphones, tablets and other personal electronic devices to be used throughout an entire flight — including takeoff and landing.
Frequent flier Barbara Reilly, a health care consultant from Atlanta, is like many airline passengers: She boards her flights with a laptop, an iPad and a cellphone, and "I used them all ... continuously, until the very moment I had to turn them off. And the second I could turn them back on, they were all back on," she says.