Roundup provides a review of the week's top government stories from Chattanooga, Nashville and Washington, D.C.
Tech giants to help resuscitate Healthcare.gov
Engineers from Google, Oracle and Red Hat will be working to fix Healthcare.gov, according to Reuters. The Barack Obama administration says the troubled website that serves 36 states, including Tennessee, should be running smoothly by Nov. 30.
Details of engineering and management missteps after the site launched were drowned out by the government shutdown, but the issue has since led to strong criticism of Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. Sen. Lamar Alexander joined other Republican lawmakers in calling for Sebelius’ resignation earlier this week.
Mitch McConnell, Senate minority leader, told PBS NewsHour that calls for the secretary’s resignation were "a distraction."
"I don’t think Albert Einstein could make this thing work," he said.
For developers: A Reddit thread picks apart some of the implementation decisions behind Healthcare.gov.
Haslam disappointed by low number of Obamacare enrollees in Tennessee
Gov. Bill Haslam told reporters this week he is disappointed by the low number of Tennesseans who have successfully enrolled in the federal health care exchange, the Times Free Press reported. The Republican governor said he isn't sure if he made the right decision to not set up a state-run exchange.
"It’s hard to know how to answer that," he said.
Meanwhile, medical groups are urging Haslam and the state Legislature to expand TennCare, The Tennessean reported.
Haslam still has not made a decision on whether to expand the state’s Medicaid program, according to Humphrey on the Hill.
"I’m not going to project a date when something may or may not happen … We’re continuing discussions," he said.
City Council will get first look at domestic partnership legislation
After months of public debate, the Chattanooga City Council will get its first look next week at a proposal to extend benefits to the domestic partners of city employees, including same-sex couples.
City Attorney Wade Hinton and Todd Dockery, director of human resources, will give a presentation on the ordinance Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. at the City Council Building. There will be a public comment period following council discussion in the afternoon session. The first vote is expected Nov. 12.
Updated @ 3:04 p.m. on 11/4/13 to correct a factual error: An earlier version of this story said that the City Council presentation would be made by Councilman Chris Anderson. The presentation will be done by the city attorney and the director of human resources.
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