To buy more time for farm bill talks, the House is expected to take up this week a short-term extension of current law through January.
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has already signaled he is open to this option and a vote could come as early as Wednesday on the suspension calendar.
Senate Republicans and House Democrats are learning the details of a possible deal largely through the media. For Republicans, their unease is caused by news that domestic spending may surpass existing caps, fueled by an increase in fees on government services. House Democrats are growing angry over the increased likelihood that federal workers’ benefits are going to be cut and the possible exclusion of unemployment insurance.
Despite their worries, there may be little that Senate Republicans and House Democrats can do to stop a budget deal being crafted by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). The House and Senate Budget committee chairmen want to reach a deal before the Dec. 13 deadline, when the House is expected to recess for the year.
States are warning that they may not process Medicaid enrollments from people who have signed up for the health program through the troubled HealthCare.gov site, raising the prospect that several hundred thousand low-income people who thought they had obtained insurance actually may not have it.
The federal health-insurance site, which serves residents in 36 states, is designed to sell policies from private insurers. But some people who apply for coverage through the site discover they are eligible instead for Medicaid, the joint federal-state health-insurance program for the poor and disabled.
Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, one of Obamacare’s architects and staunchest supporters, is also the only top congressional leader to exempt some of his staff from having to buy insurance through the law’s new exchanges.
Reid is the exception among the other top congressional leaders. GOP House Speaker John Boehner, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell have all directed their staffs to join the exchange, their aides said.
Young Americans under the age of 30 remain the least familiar age group when asked about the Affordable Care Act, according to a new poll released Monday.
The Gallup poll shows that 37 percent of Americans under 30 say they are unfamiliar with the law, more than two months after the insurance exchanges created by the law went live. For comparison, only 26 percent of Americans ages 30 to 49 and 22 percent of those between ages 50 and 64 say they are not familiar with the law.