Wonkbook: The end of ‘if you like your plan, you can keep it’

October 30, 2013

Welcome to Wonkbook, Ezra Klein and Evan Soltas's morning policy news primer. (Well, usually Ezra and Evan's. But Ezra's on vacation, so it's just Evan.) To subscribe by e-mail, click here. Send comments, criticism, or ideas to Wonkbook at Gmail dot com. To read more by Ezra and his team, go to Wonkblog.

(Photo by Joe Skipper /Reuters)
(Photo by Joe Skipper /Reuters)

Wonkbook's Number of the Day: $1.2 billion. That is the largest insider-trading penalty ever, and SAC Capital Advisors is set to pay it as part of its guilty plea to securities fraud. 

Wonkbook's Quotation of the Day: “Due to the compressed schedule, there is not enough time built in to allow for adequate performance testing,” wrote Healthcare.gov contractor CGI Federal to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services a month before the website launched.

Wonkbook's Graph of the Day: Who pays the corporate tax? Check out these first-ever distribution tables from the Joint Committee on Taxation. Now we know.

Wonkbook's Top 5 Stories: 1) even if you like your plan, you probably can't keep it; 2) SAC to pay largest insider-trading penalty ever; 3) busting the filibuster; 4) Europe helped the NSA; and 5) watching the fiscal mini-deal form.

1) Top story: The end of 'if you like your plan, you can keep it'

What Sebelius will say today. "Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will tell a House committee [today] the site's botched rollout was the result of contractors failing to live up to expectations – not bad management at HHS, as the contractors suggested. "CMS has a track record of successfully overseeing the many contractors our programs depend on to function. Unfortunately, a subset of those contracts for HealthCare.gov have not met expectations," Sebelius said in prepared testimony for tomorrow's hearing before the Energy and Commerce Committee." Sam Baker in NationalJournal.

Primary source: Sebelius' testimony as prepared for delivery.

CGI warned of HealthCare.gov problems a month before launch, documents show. "The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee released documents Tuesday night showing one of the primary contractors for HealthCare.gov, CGI Federal, warned administration officials the Web site faced problems just weeks before its Oct. 1 launch. In a monthly report sent to Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Sept. 6, CGI officials wrote there were “open risks” and “open issues” that needed to be resolved...The firm, which was responsible for both constructing key elements of the sites and  helping interweave them, cautioned that “hub services are intermittently unavailable” and the time allotted  for testing was “not adequate to complete full functional, system, and integration testing activities.” They rated problems as “near certainty” and “highly likely” and rated the impact as “significant” or “severe.”" Juliet Eilperin in The Washington Post.

Primary source: Here's that report.

Why Obamacare is canceling some people's insurance plans. "Some -- or maybe even most -- of the plans offered on the individual insurance market right now don't meet certain requirements in the health-care law. They may not offer preventive care without co-payment, for example, or leave out coverage of maternity care, one of the health-care law's 10 essential benefits...These cancellations are, essentially, a lot of grandfathered plans exiting the insurance marketplace. From an insurance company's vantage point, grandfathered plans are a bit of a dead end: They can't enroll new subscribers and are really constrained in their ability to tweak the benefit package or cost-sharing structure." Sarah Kliff in The Washington Post.

...This seems to be the next big argument against Obamacare. "Highlighting a growing number of [insurance-cancellation] notices, Republicans trained their fire on President Barack Obama, who said in 2009, "If you like your health-care plan, you will be able to keep your health-care plan. Period." The president repeated that message numerous times before the law passed in 2010, and some Democrats said he had left them ill-prepared to respond to the latest charge, which follows the botched launch of the website intended to help Americans sign up for new policies...The issue, while long known in health-policy circles, pushed its way to the national stage as more people around the country received cancellation notices." Louise Radnofsky and Timothy W. Martin in The Wall Street Journal.

@KipPiper: Obamacare shoes to drop in early 2014 include not able to see same physician, increase in deductibles, parental mandate.

Carney: Obama didn’t mislead on keeping insurance plans. ""No," Carney said at Tuesday's White house briefing when asked directly whether Obama misled. "The president was clear about a basic fact: If you had insurance that you liked on the individual market and you wanted to keep that insurance through 2010, '11, '12, '13, and in perpetuity if you wanted it and it was available, you could. You were grandfathered in."..."What no health care reform could envision or could responsibly stipulate is that any plan that might come along in the next few years would be grandfathered in because that would undermine the basic premise of providing minimum benefits for the American people," Carney said." Aaron Blake in The Washington Post.

6 ways a health care plan can lose its 'grandfathered' status under Obamacare. "1. If a plan eliminates all or most benefits for diagnosing or treating a particular condition. For instance, to use an example mentioned by HHS, if a plan offered mental health coverage and treatment consisted of counseling and prescription drugs, eliminating counseling coverage would cause a plan to lose its grandfathered status. This is true even if only a small number of subscribers to the plan have the given condition." Philip Klein in The Washington Examiner.

Administration official Marilyn Tavenner apologizes for HealthCare.gov problems. "The Obama administration official directly responsible for the troubled rollout of the federal health insurance Web site apologized Tuesday, promising to fix problems that have prevented many consumers from signing up for coverage under President Obama’s health-care law. Marilyn Tavenner, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, also defended her agency’s management of the project and blamed some of the setbacks on the main contractor, Fairfax-based CGI Federal." Sandhya Somashekhar in The Washington Post.

@JohnJHarwood: Perfect storm moment for amplifying complaints of Obamacare losers, muffling winners - many unable to learn from exchanges they ARE winners

Controversies show how Obama’s inattention to detail may hurt his presidential legacy. "Nearly a year into his second term, President Obama has yet to master the management of information within his administration. That failure has left him knowing too little at times about issues that matter the most to his legacy...Obama’s broad-stroke view of government and the insular West Wing he runs seem more like liabilities than benefits, raising questions about how much information Obama wants and how he receives it." Scott Wilson in The Washington Post.

@CitizenCohn: [D]eductible in new policy may be higher, but overall out-of-pocket could still be lower, bc of co-pays and Obamacare limits.

Hill aides can quietly stay off health exchanges. "Under rules created in the wake of Obamacare’s implementation, House and Senate personal office staffers — dubbed “official office” aides by the House administrative office — are supposed to get their health insurance through D.C.’s health insurance exchange. Committee and leadership staffers — labeled “official staff” — are allowed to keep their current health insurance plan, which is administered by the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program...In what members of both parties said was a surprise, guidance on Tuesday from the chief administrative officer of the House said lawmakers could privately designate personal office aides as not “official,” meaning they do not have to go on the exchange and could keep their current plan. Similarly, House lawmakers can decide that their committee and leadership staffers need to go on D.C.’s exchanges." Jake Sherman and Burgess Everett in Politico.

Read: How Sen. Mike Lee would like to replace Obamacare (speech transcript)National Review Online.

Romneycare had super slow enrollment. The White House says Obamacare will be similar. "In keeping with that theme, Simas told reporters that the event will likely highlight enrollment trends during the Massachusetts' law's first year: Just 123 people signed up during the Bay State's first month of open enrollment. By contrast, 20 percent of the first year's 36,000 enrollees purchased coverage in the last month before an individual mandate penalty kicked in..."The fact that people aren't signed up now is not at all interesting or important," Massachusetts Institute of Technology economist Jon Gruber said. "The success of health care reform has to be measured in months and years, not days and weeks."" Sarah Kliff in The Washington Post.

Obamacare Web site may be a disaster, but people love Social Security’s site. "The good news is, the government isn't always terrible at making these things. In fact, a new survey shows, people are as happy with federal government Web sites overall as they are with private sector Web sites (which have the built-in disadvantage of having to show advertising). And guess their favorites: three Social Security-related Web sites, which have some similar functionality to Healthcare.gov, but with one option instead of many." Lydia DePillis in The Washington Post.

@noamscheiber: GOP seems to be getting some traction w/Obamacare criticism. But you know what would really take the story to the next level? A shutdown.

KLEIN: The Health-Care Trilemma: How Obamacare is changing insurance premiums. "The right way to understand this is to think of premiums as a "trilemma" between comprehensiveness, accessibility, and affordability. Imagine this as a triangle. In the individual market, insurance premiums depend on the balance you strike between these values...What's important to understand about this trilemma is that it means, roughly, that every change has winners and losers. Put bluntly, the Affordable Care Act's changes are raising insurance premiums for some people who did well under the old system and lowering them for many of the people who were locked out or discriminated against." Ezra Klein in The Washington Post.

LASZEWSKI: I'm losing my insurance plan. Whoops. "I have been in this business for 40 years. I know junk health insurance when I see it and I know "Cadillac" health insurance when I see it. Right now I have "Cadillac" health insurance...So, I get this letter from my health plan. It says I can't keep my current coverage because my plan isn't good enough under Obamacare rules...The new plan would have a deductible $500 higher than the one I now have and a lot more if I go "out-of-network" inside the rest of the Blue Cross national network. And, wait all you people telling me rate shock does not exist, the new far more restricted plan costs 66% more than our current monthly premium. Mr. Rate Shock got rate shocked––and benefit shocked to boot." Robert Laszewski on his blog. 

CHAIT: '...And you can keep it.' "When it was originally contemplated, several years away from implementation, the process of imposing regulations on the individual-health-insurance market did not feel like taking people’s health insurance away from them. In the current moment, with cancellation notices going out and alternatives not yet available, it feels exactly like that. Which is to say, a promise that felt like a mere oversimplification at the time, and may eventually feel like one in retrospect, currently feels like a lie." Jonathan Chait in New York Magazine.

BARRO: Your private insurance is just a government program in disguise. "That's a summary of the "private" health insurance system we have today: Subsidize and regulate to push as many people as possible into insurance pools, and shift costs among them so the healthy subsidize the sick. Under Obamacare, we will do the same thing, but more of it. Insurers will face more rules about what kind of coverage they must offer and to whom. Tax subsidies for insurance will be augmented with direct premium subsidies through the exchanges." Josh Barro in Business Insider.

COWEN: What is the most likely path forward for the ACA exchanges? "The chance of “no smooth resolution” for the health care exchanges crisis is now 60-40.  Not long ago I thought it was 20-80...The exchanges will be mostly working by March 2014, but by then the risk pool will be dysfunctional.  In the meantime, real net prices will creep up, if only through implicit rationing and restrictions on provider networks.  The Obama administration will attempt to address this problem — unsuccessfully — through additional regulation...By October 2014, no one will think the exchanges are a satisfactory solution, except for 17 state exchanges which will be running reasonably well." Tyler Cowen on Marginal Revolution (blog).

FELDSTEIN: Obamacare's flaw. "[T]he biggest danger to Obamacare’s survival is that many individuals who do not receive insurance from their employer will choose not to insure themselves and will instead pay the fine of just 1% of income (rising permanently after 2015 to 2.5%). The preferred alternative for these individuals is to wait to buy insurance until they are ill and are facing large medical bills." Martin Feldstein in Project Syndicate.

DOUTHAT: Obamacare's losers and why they matter. "If we want health inflation to stay low and health care costs to be less of an anchor on advancement, we should want more Americans making $50,000 or $60,000 or $70,000 to spend less upfront on health insurance, rather than using regulatory pressure to induce them to spend more. And seen in that light, the potential problem with Obamacare’s regulation-driven “rate shock” isn’t that it doesn’t let everyone keep their pre-existing plans. It’s that it cancels plans, and raises rates, for people who were doing their part to keep all of our costs low." Ross Douthat in The New York Times.

CAPRETTA: Obamacare's unlikely coverage goal. "The interesting number, then, is not gross enrollment in the exchanges, but the net number of newly insured Americans... Obamacare’s performance should be compared with the more recent CBO estimate, from which the administration has pulled its target for exchange enrollees. In those projections, CBO expects 9 million new enrollees in Medicaid in 2014, 7 million enrollees in plans offered on the exchanges, and a 2 million reduction in enrollees in individual insurance outside of the exchanges. So the net increase in insurance coverage for 2014 was estimated at 14 million people. The administration’s recent announcement that the Healthcare.gov website will be functional by the end of November very likely means little to no enrollment over the coming month" James C. Capretta in National Review Online.

Music recommendations interlude: Ramones, "High Risk Insurance."

Top opinion

PETRAEUS: How we won in Iraq, and why those gains are now slipping. "The news out of Iraq is, once again, exceedingly grim. The resurrection of al Qaeda in Iraq -- which was on the ropes at the end of the surge in 2008 -- has led to a substantial increase in ethno-sectarian terrorism in the Land of the Two Rivers. The civil war next door in Syria has complicated matters greatly, aiding the jihadists on both sides of the border and bringing greater Iranian involvement in Mesopotamia. And various actions by the Iraqi government have undermined the reconciliation initiatives of the surge that enabled the sense of Sunni Arab inclusion and contributed to the success of the venture." David H. Petraeus in Foreign Policy.

AL-MALIKI: Americans, be patient with us Iraqis. "It has been almost two years since American troops withdrew from Iraq. And despite the terrorist threats we face, we are not asking for American boots on the ground...The United States is our security partner of choice, so we have been working with the U.S. government and American defense firms to procure the equipment we need...[W]ith many better-armed neighbors and no air force or air defenses to speak of, our ability to enforce this policy is limited. This is one of many reasons we are urgently seeking to improve our air defense capabilities." Nuri Kamal al-Maliki in The New York Times.

BARTLETT: Who pays the corporate tax? Now we finally know. "The Joint Committee on Taxation now believes that it understands the incidence of the corporate income tax well enough to do so and issued a study explaining its new methodology on Oct. 16...[I]t is now easier to show that a cut in the corporate tax rate will have benefits that are broadly shared, especially by those with incomes below $30,000. Conversely, it means that the Obama administration’s plan to raise new revenue by closing corporate tax loopholes will have a harder time gaining traction, because much of the burden will fall on those with low incomes." Bruce Bartlett in The New York Times.

BEUTLER: A huge win for the 'whites-only' GOP coalition. "If Boehner can’t make any progress on his own, conservative reform advocates will have one last opportunity to press him to partner with Democrats, even if it means abandoning the Hastert rule yet again. But this is a highly optimistic scenario. The conservative reformers I spoke with on Monday don’t think that’s what’s happening. At this point, they see it as a question of whether Democrats will sign on to help Republicans pass something truly marginal or whether nothing will pass at all." Brian Beutler in Salon.

COATES: Homecoming at Howard. "Howard, which nurtured civil rights warriors like Andrew Young, Thurgood Marshall and Charles Hamilton Houston, has played a special role in the work of integration. But an unspeakable conclusion has followed from that work — that the job of Howard University is to pave the way for its own obsolescence." Ta-Nehisi Coates in The New York Times.

GORE AND BLOOD: The carbon asset bubble. "Here is the relevance of carbon to investing: There is consensus within the scientific community that increasing the global temperature by more than 2°C will likely cause devastating and irreversible damage to the planet...Put differently, at least two-thirds of fossil fuel reserves will not be monetized if we are to stay below 2°C of warming—creating "stranded carbon assets."...The transition to a low carbon future will revolutionize the global economy and present significant opportunities for superior investment returns. However, investors must also acknowledge that carbon risk is real and growing." Al Gore and David Blood in The Wall Street Journal.

GALSTON: The incredible shrinking workforce. "As Johns Hopkins economist Robert Moffitt showed in a 2012 paper, another key job-market measure, the employment-to-population ratio, was declining for nearly a decade before the Great Recession began...Mr. Moffitt explored a wide range of possible causes for these trends. He found few changes in tax policies, means-tested programs and entitlements that could explain them. Falling real wages account for some of the employment-to-population decline among men. But real wages rose for women between 1999 and 2007. It is tempting to speculate that the shift away from marriage may depress work incentives for men and (less intuitively) that the deferral of childbirth may do the same for women. But we don't know for sure." William A. Galston in The Wall Street Journal.

Yes, it's safe for work, we promise interlude: "Cabin Porn."

2) The largest insider-trading penalty ever

SAC Capital Advisors to plead guilty to securities fraud. "SAC Capital Advisors LP will plead guilty to securities fraud as part of a landmark criminal insider-trading settlement with federal prosecutors set to be announced by next week, people familiar with the discussions say...SAC, run by Wall Street titan Steven A. Cohen, also will agree to stop managing outside money and to pay the government criminal penalties of about $1.2 billion, according to these people. That would be the largest-ever insider-trading penalty...Talks are ongoing to resolve a separate SEC civil suit that seeks to ban Mr. Cohen from managing outside money for allegedly ignoring insider trading at his firm...Under the deal with prosecutors, SAC will agree to wind down as an investment-advisory firm and surrender the SEC investment-adviser registration that allows it to manage outside capital, according to the people familiar with the matter." Michael Rothfeld and Jean Eaglesham in The Wall Street Journal.

Watch: CNBC's Rick Santelli gets pwned by Nobel laureate economist Eugene Fama on live TVSam Ro in Business Insider.

Consumer confidence collapsed this month. Thanks, Congress! "In perhaps the least shocking economic data point to be released this month, American consumers were sharply less confident about the economy in early October than they were in September. Turns out, shutting down the government for 16 days while using the threat of a government debt default to battle over the nation's budget isn't great for peoples' psyche. The index was down to 71.2, from 80.2. It's interesting that the Conference Board's measure of "present conditions" fell much less than its index of "expectations."" Neil Irwin in The Washington Post.

How are retail sales doing, doc? "Retail sales dipped 0.1 percent in September, to a seasonally adjusted $426 billion, according to the Commerce Department. But excluding automobiles, sales rose 0.4 percent from the previous month. Sales are 3.2 percent higher than a year ago." Amrita Jayakumar in The Washington Post.

Districts that elect Republican hardliners also tend to have especially weak economies. "[T]he median unemployment rate among those Republicans' districts was two percentage points higher last year than the nation as a whole. And in the district I visited, people blamed Obama squarely for those economic woes." Jim Tankersley in The Washington Post.

Interactive: A map of unemployment rates and median income shows how it's unsually bad thereJim Tankersley and Darla Cameron in The Washington Post.

The rise in home prices may cool. "Home prices rose in August from a year earlier at the fastest pace since February 2006. But the price gains slowed in many cities from July, a sign that rising prices over the last year may have peaked...[A] measure of month-over-month prices for the 20 cities rose just 1.3 percent in August. That is down from a 1.8 percent month-over-month gain in July. And 16 of the 20 cities reported more modest price increases in August than in July." The Associated Press.

But markets seem to be warming back up to mortgage bonds. "Investors are snapping up debt issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac five years after the companies' taxpayer-funded rescue, the latest sign that housing risk is no longer a four-letter word on Wall Street. A frenzied rally has broken out in new securities that share with private investors the risk that some mortgage borrowers won't repay loans guaranteed by the government-supported companies. The price on one $250 million class of risk-sharing securities that Freddie Mac sold in July has jumped to 17% above face value, sending yields tumbling." Al Yoon in The Wall Street Journal.

Rand Paul says he will place hold on Janet Yellen nomination. "Sen. Rand Paul said on Tuesday that he plans to place a hold on Janet Yellen’s nomination to be Federal Reserve chair to try and force a vote on a bill he argues would increase transparency at the central bank...Yellen, currently the Fed’s vice chair, is expected to be confirmed, but Paul’s hold could complicate the process if Republicans decide to rally around a call for a vote on his legislation. In order to get around a hold, 60 votes would be needed." Kevin Cirilli in Politico.

How was government's response to the financial crisis? "At a conference here Tuesday looking back at the crisis, top officials from the administrations of presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama [examined the government response]...[D]iscussions at the symposium [were] sponsored by the Paulson Institute and University of Chicago Institute of Politics." Mark Peters in The Wall Street Journal.

History lane: Here’s how The Post covered the start of the Great Depression. Neil Irwin in The Washington Post.

The euro is soaring. That’s terrible news for Europe. "This rally has been sharp enough that it could endanger the very economic growth they've been so desperately waiting for...The rise in the euro against the dollar since the summer makes German or French exporters 8 percent less competitive than they had been against U.S.-based competitors...Those are pretty huge currency adjustments for businesses to deal with in a short time period, and they risk undermining the fragile and long-awaited growth that the continent has finally achieved...Perhaps more worrisome, the stronger euro will depress inflation at a time that a little more inflation is exactly what Europe needs to ease some of the pain of its readjustment." Neil Irwin in The Washington Post.

Wonkbook trawls through Tumblr so you don't have to interlude: selfiesatfunerals.tumblr.com.

3) Is the Senate about to do some filibusting?

Nomination fight comes back to the Senate. "Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said on Tuesday he intends to push ahead on six nominations, several of which are proving controversial among Republicans. In the face of GOP opposition — particularly toward Obama’s picks to join powerful court and lead a key housing regulator — Reid on Monday teed up a series of procedural vote over the coming week that will require 60 votes...Democrats could again eye a change in Senate filibuster rules by turning to the “nuclear option” to ease a path for Millett and fellow Circuit Court nominees Nina Pillard and Robert Wilkins." Burgess Everett in Politico.

This nominee could be the center of the next fight over the filibuster. "Senate Democrats plan to force a vote this week to fill a vacancy on the court widely considered the country’s second highest, threatening to reopen the bitter fight over limiting the filibuster if Republicans follow through on their pledge to block the nomination...At the heart of the dispute are lifetime appointments to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which often renders judgments on whether a president’s policies are constitutional...Senior Democrats said Tuesday that they would have little choice but to revisit the volatile issue of changing the Senate’s filibuster rules if Republicans blocked the president’s nominee, Patricia Ann Millett." Jeremy W. Peters in The New York Times.

General counsel for NLRB confirmed. "The Senate confirmed Richard Griffin as the National Labor Relations Board's general counsel, putting the former union lawyer in the powerful role of deciding when to investigate and prosecute companies and unions charged with unfair labor practices. The near-party-line 55-44 vote underscores the political divide over Mr. Griffin and other officials President Barack Obama has appointed to the agency, which oversees union elections and referees workplace disputes in the private sector. The only Republican to vote for Mr. Griffin's confirmation was Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski." Melanie Trottman in The Wall Street Journal.

...As is the new FCC chief. "The Senate voted unanimously on Tuesday to confirm President Obama’s two nominations to the Federal Communications Commission, overcoming obstacles by Republican lawmakers. The vote came after Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, lifted a hold earlier in the day on the nomination of Tom Wheeler as chairman, with Mr. Cruz saying he had received assurances from him that the commission would not immediately pursue changes for political advertising on television." Edward Wyatt in The New York Times.

Oh my god this is so great interlude: Impregnable home of glass.

4) Europe's anti-NSA line backfires

Europe gave us the data, NSA says. "Millions of phone records at the center of a firestorm in Europe over spying by the National Security Agency were secretly supplied to the U.S. by European intelligence services—not collected by the NSA, upending a furor that cast a pall over trans-Atlantic relations...The revelations suggest a greater level of European involvement in global surveillance, in conjunction at times with the NSA. The disclosures also put European leaders who loudly protested reports of the NSA's spying in a difficult spot, showing how their spy agencies aided the Americans. The phone records collected by the Europeans—in war zones and other areas outside their borders—were shared with the NSA as part of efforts to help protect American and allied troops and civilians, U.S. officials said...U.S. officials said the data was provided to the NSA under long-standing intelligence sharing arrangements." Adam Entous and Siobhan Gorman in The Wall Street Journal

From yesterday's congressional testimony: "“This is not information we collected on European citizens,” said the agency’s director, Gen. Keith B. Alexander. “It represents information that we and our NATO allies have collected in defense of our countries and in support of military operations.”...General Alexander and James R. Clapper Jr., director of national intelligence, broadly defended the N.S.A.'s practice of spying on foreign leaders. Such espionage, they said, was a basic pillar of American intelligence operations that had gone on for decades...“It is one of the first things I learned in intelligence school in 1963,” Mr. Clapper said. “It’s a fundamental given.”" Michael S. Schmidt in The New York Times.

NYC interlude: 100 ways to improve the subway, on a Tumblr blog.

5) Mini-deal watch

Yes, another White House hint that they'll accept no new revenues for a small fiscal deal. "At the meeting earlier this month, officials said, Sen. Bob Corker (R., Tenn.) asked the president about a potential small deal to replace part of the sequester cuts. Mr. Corker asked whether Mr. Obama would be willing to accept a narrow deal without new revenues, one that instead includes some cuts to entitlement programs that the president had previously endorsed. Officials in the meeting said Mr. Obama was open to the idea." Damian Paletta in The Wall Street Journal.

Explainer: 11 questions about the next front in the Washington budget war. Lori Montgomery in The Washington Post.

Reading material interlude: The best sentences Wonkblog read today.

Wonkblog Roundup

Here’s how The Post covered the start of the Great DepressionNeil Irwin.

Here’s Zillow’s strategy for dominating online real estateLydia DePillis.

The Health-Care Trilemma: How Obamacare is changing insurance premiumsEzra Klein.

Consumer confidence collapsed this month. Thanks, CongressNeil Irwin.

This is why Obamacare is canceling some people’s insurance plansSarah Kliff.

The brutal economies of hard-line Republican districts, in one chartJim Tankersley.

Just how badly are we overfishing the oceansBrad Plumer.

The euro is soaring. That’s terrible news for EuropeNeil Irwin.

Obamacare Web site may be a disaster, but people love Social Security’s siteLydia DePillis.

Et Cetera

U.S. will stop funding construction of coal-fired power plants through international-development loansMichael D. Shear in The New York Times.

Pacific-coast states sign climate pact. Michael Vines in The New York Times.

Senators lining up to support law banning workplace discrimination by sexual preference and gender identity. Ed O'Keefe in The Washington Post.

Jack Lew and John Kerry fight to stop new sanctions on Iran. John Bresnahan in Politico.

How does Marco Rubio's switch affect immigration reformSeung Min Kim in Politico.

Abortion restrictions in Oklahoma ready for Supreme Court reviewRobert Barnes in The Washington Post.

Got tips, additions, or comments? E-mail me.

Wonkbook is produced with help from Michelle Williams.

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Sarah Kliff · October 29, 2013