By Sharon Begley and Lewis Krauskopf NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. medical providers are seeing only a trickle of patients newly insured under President Barack Obama's healthcare law, as insurers, hospitals and doctors try to work out any hitches in coverage. More than 2 million people have signed up for new private health plans that took effect on Wednesday under the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare. Already on Friday, Senate Republicans opposed to the law seized on scattered media reports of a handful of people having difficulty confirming their new insurance policies, feeding into a narrative of Obamacare's harms that is expected to intensify ahead of Congressional elections in November. Central Ohio Primary Care, a 250-physician practice, is holding off on filing claims for patients who say they bought plans through the HealthCare.gov exchange, said Chief Executive Officer Dr. William Wulf.
Israel and the Palestinians are making progress towards reaching a framework peace agreement but they are not there yet, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters on Saturday. Kerry spoke after about three hours of talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, the Palestinian seat of government in the West Bank. Kerry is on his tenth trip to the region in the past year as he seeks to secure a peace deal. He was to meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem later on Saturday.
HONOLULU (AP) — President Barack Obama returns to Washington this weekend eager to test whether a modest budget deal passed in the waning days of 2013 can spark bipartisan momentum on Capitol Hill. As he opens his sixth year in office, he also faces legacy-defining decisions on the future of government surveillance programs and the American-led war in Afghanistan.