Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton was in Springfield, Ill., Wednesday where she sought to use the symbolism of a historic landmark to draw parallels to a present-day America that is in need of repairing deepening racial and cultural divides.

The Old State Capitol — where Abraham Lincoln delivered his famous "A house divided" speech in 1858 warning against the ills of slavery and where Barack Obama launched his presidential bid in 2007 — served as the backdrop for Clinton as she spoke of how "America's long struggle with race is far from finished."

Episode 711: Hooked on Heroin

1 hour ago

When we meet the heroin dealer called Bone, he has just shot up. He has a lot to say anyway. He tells us about his career--it pretty much tracks the evolution of drug use in America these past ten years or so. He tells us about his rough past. And he tells us about how he died a week ago. He overdosed on his own supply and his friend took his body to the emergency room, then left.

New British Prime Minister Theresa May announced six members of her Cabinet Wednesday.

Amid a sweeping crackdown on dissent in Egypt, security forces have forcibly disappeared hundreds of people since the beginning of 2015, according to a new report from Amnesty International.

It's an "unprecedented spike," the group says, with an average of three or four people disappeared every day.

The Republican Party, as it prepares for its convention next week has checked off item No. 1 on its housekeeping list — drafting a party platform. The document reflects the conservative views of its authors, many of whom are party activists. So don't look for any concessions to changing views among the broader public on key social issues.

Many public figures who took to Twitter and Facebook following the murder of five police officers in Dallas have faced public blowback and, in some cases, found their employers less than forgiving about inflammatory and sometimes hateful online comments.

As Venezuela unravels — with shortages of food and medicine, as well as runaway inflation — President Nicolas Maduro is increasingly unpopular. But he's still holding onto power.

"The truth in Venezuela is there is real hunger. We are hungry," says a man who has invited me into his house in the northwestern city of Maracaibo, but doesn't want his name used for fear of reprisals by the government.

The wiry man paces angrily as he speaks. It wasn't always this way, he says, showing how loose his pants are now.

Ask a typical teenage girl about the latest slang and girl crushes and you might get answers like "spilling the tea" and Taylor Swift. But at the Girl Up Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C., the answers were "intersectional feminism" — the idea that there's no one-size-fits-all definition of feminism — and U.N. climate chief Christiana Figueres.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Arizona Hispanics Poised To Swing State Blue

5 hours ago
Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Pages

Obama: ACA Is Not HealthCare.gov, Low-Cost Insurance Is

Oct 21, 2013
Originally published on October 22, 2013 10:10 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

President Obama today acknowledged there are serious problems with the new government website that consumers can use to shop for health insurance. He promised a tech surge to fix those problems. In the meantime, he says there are other ways to sign up for coverage. As NPR's Scott Horsley reports, the glitchy site has become a political liability for the White House, as it rules out one of the most visible aspects of the controversial health care law.

SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: Three weeks ago, when the government's online insurance market opened, President Obama boasted it would make shopping for health insurance as easy as buying a TV on Amazon or a plane ticket on Kayak. But many consumers have found navigating the website more like traversing the Amazon in a leaky kayak. While at first the administration blamed those problems on overwhelming demand, today, the president admitted the site is not working as it should.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: There's no sugarcoating it. The website has been too slow, people have been getting stuck during the application process. And I think it's fair to say that nobody is more frustrated by that than I am.

HORSLEY: The launch of the online marketplace should have been a moment of celebration for Obama, with millions of people who'd previously been denied health insurance lining up to buy coverage he campaigned so hard for. With many of those consumers still struggling to gain access to the website, though, the president acknowledged he's handed a big club to his Republican opponents. They've been fighting the health care law every step of the way.

OBAMA: I'm sure that given the problems with the website so far, they're going to be looking to go after it even harder.

HORSLEY: Indeed, Republicans like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell have had a field day attacking the government-run insurance market.

SENATOR MITCH MCCONNELL: A visit to the website is kind of like a trip to the Department of Motor Vehicle in your state.

HORSLEY: Appearing on CBS's "Face the Nation" over the weekend, McConnell argued the bulky website is just the tip of an Obamacare iceberg.

MCCONNELL: The government simply isn't going to be able to get this job done correctly. And even if you were lucky enough to get on to sign up, you're going to find you got fewer choices and higher premiums. This is a very bad deal for the American people.

HORSLEY: Obama tried to combat that argument today, insisting the health care law is much more than just a website. The problems with the online insurance market don't affect the expansion of Medicaid under the law or the new protections for people who get health coverage through their employer. What's more, the president notes, in many cases, the health insurance being offered to the website is more affordable than forecasters had expected.

OBAMA: The health insurance is good. The prices are good. It is a good deal. People don't just want it, they're showing up to buy it.

HORSLEY: So it's doubly frustrating when they're stymied by the website. Obama vowed the technical problems will be fixed but that won't be easy. Elaine Kamarck, who helped developed the National Performance Review in the Clinton White House, says developing an online market that can work with government databases was always going to be more challenging than building a website to sell appliances or plane tickets. That's especially true when you're in a bunker and your political opponents are lobbing shells at you.

ELAINE KAMARCK: The political environment complicates everything, right? So the technical problems with the website's become a political issue. But solving the technical problems is simply a technical issue.

HORSLEY: But Kamarck, who's now at the Brookings Institution, warns there could be bigger problems if the website is not fixed and the shopping experience remains so unpleasant many healthy people just give up. After all, if you're healthy and you don't really need to see a doctor or you've been managing to just pay out of pocket, well, you're not going to sit in front of a computer for hours and hours.

And insurance only works if it attracts the healthy as well as the sick. The president stressed we're only three weeks into a six-month shopping window. While fixes to the website are made, he said, consumers can still shop for insurance by telephone or in person.

Scott Horsley, NPR News, Washington. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.