President Obama honors 16 people with the Medal of Freedom today at the White House at 11:05AM ET. It is the nation's highest civilian honor, and the modern version was created by President John F Kennedy (killed 50 years ago this Friday.). The honorees today include President Bill Clinton and Oprah Winfrey among others. We'll take it live.
Later today, the President lays a wreath at the JFK memorial and grave site at Arlington National Cemetery.
Meantime, new troubles for the rollout of Obamacare.
There are new technology concerns. Helathcare.gov is still not working properly, and about 30% of the federal health care marketplaces are still being developed. Um.
There is new testimony today on the Hill. We'll monitor for sound.
1000EST -- Senate Small Business & Entrepreneurship Cmte holds hearing entitled "Affordable Care Act Implementation: Examining How to Achieve a Successful Rollout of the Small Business Exchanges." NM Health Connections CEO Martin Hickey, KY Health Benefit Exchange deputy exec dir William Nold, Marlin Steel Wire Products owner Drew Greenblatt, DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority exec dir Mila Kofman, Assoc of Enterprise Opportunity pres & CEO Connie Evans, David Allen Enterprises, LLC, pres & CEO David Allen, and early2surg founder & CEO Sheila Salter testify. LIVE
President Obama spoke to a council of CEO's a Wall Street Journal forum yesterday afternoon. He acknowledged the massive problems, but also said Republicans are partly responsible for the botched rollout of the Affordable Care Act. "One of the problems we've had is one side of Capitol Hill is invested in failure. "We obviously are going to have to remarket and rebrand, and that will be challenging in this political environment."
Maryland continues to be plagued with major IT problems with its state-run exchange. Oregon and Virginia also having big problems.
There are a few success stories. California, Kentucky and Connecticut are reporting healthy signups and relatively few technical problems.
In other news,'
The nation's largest bank, JP Morgan Chase, will pay a $13-billion settlement with the government over its shady actions leading up to and during the 2008 financial crisis.
We're looking for new economic reports today on retail sales and existing home sales as stocks continue to surge and markets at record levels.
Iran and five major world powers are meeting with Iran today in Geneva over Iran's nuclear program. The U.S. Senate is considering new sanctions against Iran, Israel is adamantly opposed to any deal, and Iran's so-called Supreme Leader says Iran won't give up nuclear energy. Sort of an inauspicious beginning to today's meetings.
The U.S. and Afghanistan are on the verge of creating a framework for U.S. troops in Afghanistan past 2014.
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- Clint Henderson