New Concerns; Wicked Weather

Lots going on today. Including messy weather outside our studios!

It looks like the got a redesign overnight. The homepage now has buttons for "See plans before I buy," and "See if I can lower costs," buttons.

It comes as new concerns emerge about the Affordable Care Act and the overhaul.

Peter Doocy reports for us today that there are just two weeks until the December 23 deadline to sign up for coverage beginning January 1st.

The Financial Times reports today that many of the nation's top hospitals will be excluded from most health care plans under Obamacare. We've done some reporting on this in the past, but it's an interesting read.

The Wall Street Journal reports high deductibles for some low cost plans under Obamacare may present a challenge for some lower income folks.

The WSJ also point out the case study of Maryland which has botched its own state-run health care exchange. The official in charge resigned in disgrace and the exchange continues to be plagued with problems.

Fiery exchanges yesterday on "Fox News Sunday" between Chris Wallace and Obamacare architect Zeke Emanuel (he's our guest later this week). Emanuel suggests consumers may have to pay more if their current doctor is "out of network," under Obamacare.

Congress will be on a sprint to finish up their work for the year this week. There's high hopes Congress can pass a budget and a farm bill before leaving for Christmas break.. but you know Congress... It's pretty much a foregone conclusion not much else will get done before year's end.

The President and First Lady are leaving this morning for South Africa to honor the memory of Nelson Mandela. He gets buried on December 15th, but there are extravagant ceremonies leading up to the burial Including the official memorial in Johannesburg tomorrow. The President will join mourners in a soccer stadium that hosted the World Cup. Greg Palkot reporting.

Weather also a big story today. New England now being smothered by the series of storms that made such a mess East of the Rockies. Heavy snow and ice falling on a wide swath of the Mid-Atlantic and Eastern Coast. Already today some 1000 flights are cancelled.

Eight huge tech companies are calling for new tighter controls on government spying. It comes as we get word the NSA snooped on hundreds of thousands of calls from cell towers.

American Airlines emerges from bankruptcy as it officially mergers with US Airways today. It creates the worlds' largest airline.

Looks like a massive crackdown is underway in Kiev. Anti-government protesters angry at the Ukranian move towards Russia and away from Europe have been protesting for weeks.

The Wall Street Journal reports on the purge of leadership in North Korea raising new questions about the stability of the dictatorship.

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-Clint Henderson

Clint Henderson is the Executive Producer for “Happening Now” and an avid traveler. Follow his adventures on Twitter, ClintPHenderson, and Instagram, clintpage1.