Scott Horsley

Scott Horsley is a White House correspondent for NPR News. He reports on the policy and politics of the Obama Administration, with a special emphasis on economic issues.

The 2012 campaign is the third presidential contest Horsley has covered for NPR. He previously reported on Senator John McCain's White House bid in 2008 and Senator John Kerry's campaign in 2004. Thanks to this experience, Horsley has become an expert in the motel shampoo offerings of various battleground states.

Horsley took up the White House beat after serving as a San Diego-based business correspondent for NPR where he covered fast food, gasoline prices, and the California electricity crunch of 2000. He reported from the Pentagon during the early phases of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Before joining NPR in 2001, Horsley was a reporter for member station KPBS-FM, where he received numerous honors, including a Public Radio News Directors' award for coverage of the California energy crisis.

Earlier in his career, Horsley worked as a reporter for WUSF-FM in Tampa, Florida, and as a news writer and reporter for commercial radio stations in Boston and Concord, New Hampshire. Horsley began his professional career as a production assistant for NPR's Morning Edition.

Horsley earned a bachelor's degree from Harvard University and an MBA from San Diego State University.

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Health Care
10:10 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Exchange Enrollment Growing But Still Short Of Forecasts

The Obama administration just released the latest sign-up numbers for its troubled health insurance exchange website. Enrollment picked up last month, after a disastrous start in October. Still, the number of people signing up for coverage is below the administration's original forecasts.

Shots - Health News
9:10 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Enrollment Jumps At HealthCare.gov, Though Totals Still Lag

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius' shadow appeared behind the lectern as she spoke about the implementation of the federal health law in Detroit in November.
Paul Sancya AP

Originally published on Wed December 11, 2013 12:56 pm

Enrollment in the federal government's new health insurance exchange picked up sharply in November, but the number of people signing up for coverage still trails original forecasts. Officials from the Obama administration say they expect the pace of enrollments will continue to increase now that the insurance website is working more smoothly.

Users have until Dec. 23 to sign up for coverage that begins in January.

Read more
Politics
8:18 am
Mon December 9, 2013

Looking Past Website, More Challenges Await Obamacare

An increasing number of people are signing up for health insurance through the government's new exchange, suggesting the Obama administration has made progress in fixing its broken website. But the exchange is just one part of the health care law, which remains politically divisive almost four years after its passage.

Shots - Health News
3:54 pm
Wed December 4, 2013

Administration Says You Can Now Escape HealthCare.Gov 'Prison'

The HealthCare.gov jailbreak is on.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 9:32 am

The Obama administration says it has patched hundreds of software bugs infecting the government's health insurance website. That includes the notorious "prison glitch."

Martha Freeman of Pennsylvania encountered the bug when she tried to sign up for coverage for herself and her adult children. The website wanted documentation of the children's incarceration status.

Never mind they'd never been in prison. The website was soon locked up.

Freeman figured she was stuck in solitary, until she called the toll-free help line and discovered she wasn't alone.

Read more
Politics
5:03 am
Wed December 4, 2013

Federal Health Insurance Website Features 'Reset' Button

Originally published on Wed December 4, 2013 7:03 am

The Obama administration is renewing its sales push for the president's signature health care law. On Wednesday, officials host a "youth summit" at the White House, where young people will be encouraged to sign up for insurance coverage. Their participation is crucial to help balance out the cost of insuring older, sicker people.

Health Care
5:13 am
Tue December 3, 2013

HealthCare.gov Uses Waiting Room To Cool Traffic Surge

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 6:02 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

As with other e-commerce sites, Cyber Monday was a busy one for the HealthCare.gov. It brought a surge in traffic to the government's beleaguered health insurance website.

Later today, President Obama will give a speech detailing the work of the technical teams who have been patching bugs and expanding capacity.

Read more
Politics
5:26 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Avoiding Another Government Shutdown Moves To Front Burner

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 1:27 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.

The end of Thanksgiving weekend brings us closer to another deadline. The budget chairs of the Senate and the House, here in Washington, are continuing talks to set spending levels for the coming year and maybe beyond. They're leading a conference committee setup as part of the deal to end the partial government shutdown this past fall.

Read more
Health
4:24 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

With November Ending, Taking Stock Of HealthCare.gov's Progress

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 10:04 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

President Obama pardoned a Thanksgiving turkey today. Now the question is whether the government's new health insurance website will also get a reprieve. After a disastrous rollout eight weeks ago, the White House says it's on track to have the site working smoothly for most users by this weekend. Many consumers say they have seen improvements to the site. But others are still hitting roadblocks.

Read more
Health Care
4:24 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

On State Heatlh Exchanges, Some Successes, Some Failures

Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 7:21 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

There has been a surge in the number of people signing up for health insurance on the California exchange. By mid-November, nearly four times as many people were signing up each day than when the exchange was opened. That's better, though the numbers are still shy of what the Obama administration had originally hoped for.

Read more
Politics
4:44 am
Wed November 20, 2013

Obama Concedes Botched Insurance Website Rollout Cost Time

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 7:34 am

The Obama administration is asking for people who've been turned off by the government's problem-plagued insurance website to come back. Officials say the website is working better now, though it's still far from fixed.

Politics
4:50 am
Fri November 15, 2013

Obama Apologizes, Offers Fix To Insurance Cancellations

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 10:49 am

President Obama has acknowledged the fumbled rollout of his signature health care law has hurt his credibility and that of fellow Democrats. He offered a minor change to the law in hopes of calming Democratic nerves, and beating back bigger changes proposed by House Republicans.

It's All Politics
3:03 am
Thu November 14, 2013

6 Ideas Being Floated To 'Fix' Obamacare Sign-Up Woes

On Sept. 28, just days before enrollment opened for coverage under the Affordable Care Act, this outreach event was hosted by Planned Parenthood for the Latino community in Los Angeles. But in the first month of the troubled HealthCare.gov website saw just a fraction of those expected to sign up had managed to do so.
Jonathan Alcorn Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 6:53 am

As technical problems with the government's new health insurance marketplace slow the pace of sign-up, a variety of "fixes" have been proposed. But some of these would create their own challenges. In rough order from least to most disruptive, here are some of the ideas:

1) Fix the website on schedule
This is everyone's favorite idea. The Obama administration says it hopes to have HealthCare.gov working smoothly for most users by the end of November, though it's not clear that target will be met.

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Politics
5:26 am
Tue November 12, 2013

Affordable Care Act's Website Reflects Law's Complexity

Originally published on Tue November 12, 2013 8:15 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Its MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And I'm Linda Wertheimer. We'll get a look this week at how many people have signed up for health insurance on the new government exchanges. According to the Wall Street Journal, fewer than 50,000 people have obtained coverage so far through the federal website. That's well below the government's original forecasts.

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Around the Nation
4:51 pm
Mon November 11, 2013

Obama Honors Veterans And Promises Continued Support

Originally published on Mon November 11, 2013 5:52 pm

President Obama's reached out to veterans Monday in a number of ways to mark the Veteran's Day holiday.

Politics
4:42 am
Wed November 6, 2013

Obama To Visit Dallas To Smooth Bumps In Health Care Sign-Up

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 9:47 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Today, President Obama meets some of the volunteers trying to sign up Americans for health insurance. The volunteers work in Texas, where the president is traveling.

MONTAGNE: The trip to Dallas is partly to raise money for Democratic Senate candidates, and partly the promote the new health care law. But in Dallas, it's hard to miss the current gap between that law's ambition and its current execution.

Read more
Politics
4:13 am
Mon November 4, 2013

Va. Governor's Race May Be Proxy For Broader National Debate

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 5:28 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

Last month's government shutdown could deliver its first political victim tomorrow. Republican Ken Cuccinelli is trailing in the Virginia Governor's race. During a campaign appearance this weekend, President Obama tried to tie Cuccinelli to the shutdown, and also to the Tea Party. Cuccinelli, in turn, tried to link his Democratic opponent, Terry McAuliffe, to the troubled rollout of Obamacare.

Read more
Economy
5:51 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Reduced Foodstamps Payouts Could Hurt The Economy

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 6:49 pm

Food stamp recipients will see a cut in their benefits starting Friday. For the hungry and unemployed, more cuts may be coming. That's a challenge for the affected families, but it could also be a drain on the broader economy.

It's All Politics
5:22 am
Mon October 28, 2013

A Churchill 'Quote' That U.S. Politicians Will Never Surrender

Winston Churchill opens the new headquarters of a Royal Auxiliary Air Force squadron at Croydon in 1948.
Central Press/Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 8:28 am

This week, Congress dedicates a new bust of Winston Churchill in the Capitol's Statuary Hall. The sculpture is meant to honor the British statesman's legacy of determination and resolve.

It's also a salute to Churchill's friendship with the United States — summed up in an oft-quoted line that Maine Sen. Angus King used during the recent congressional debt-ceiling debate.

As King put it: "Winston Churchill once famously observed that Americans will always do the right thing, only after they have tried everything else."

Read more
U.S.
12:41 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

Obama Says He's 'Frustrated' About Health Care Site Issues

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 3:37 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with an acknowledgement of trouble by President Obama.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: OK, the president is speaking right now to reporters and others in the White House Rose Garden. Our White House correspondent Scott Horsley has been listening in. He's in our studios. Hi, Scott.

SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: Good to be with you, Steve.

INSKEEP: OK, the president's talking about Obamacare. What's he saying?

Read more
Politics
4:38 am
Thu October 17, 2013

Obama Sticks With 'No Ransom' Strategy, Comes Out Ahead

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 10:23 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Throughout the battle over the government shutdown and debt limit, President Obama repeated his view many times: So long as Republicans were threatening default, he would not negotiate.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: You don't negotiate by putting a gun to the other person's head.

INSKEEP: That strategy paid off for the Whitehouse, but it's not a strategy the president comes by naturally - as NPR's Scott Horsley reports.

Read more
NPR Story
7:24 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

White House: Obama To Tap Janet Yellen For Fed Chair

The White House announced Tuesday that President Obama will nominate Federal Reserve Vice Chairwoman Janet Yellen to chair the Federal Reserve Wednesday. She would replace Ben Bernanke, who's stepping down from the post. Yellen has been the presumptive nominee for weeks, after Lawrence Summers announced his intention to remove himself from the running in September. She'd be the first woman to head the Fed.

It's All Politics
5:15 am
Fri October 4, 2013

Shutdown Showdown: Assessing Obama's Negotiating Tactics

President Obama speaks about the government shutdown, the budget and the debt ceiling debate during a visit to M. Luis Construction in Rockville, Md., on Thursday.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 11:14 am

The government shutdown grinds on with no immediate relief in sight.

President Obama says he's willing to talk with Republican lawmakers about adjustments to the health care law and other issues, but only after they re-open the government and lift the threat of a federal default.

"I'm happy to negotiate with you on anything. I don't think any one party has a monopoly on wisdom. But you don't negotiate by putting a gun to the other person's head," Obama says.

Experts in negotiation say the president's stance may be justified, but it's also risky.

Read more
Politics
6:35 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Partial Government Shutdown Will Compromise Some Services

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Health Care
3:36 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Commander In Chief, Explainer In Chief Tout Health Care Law

President Obama joins former President Clinton to talk about the health care law, during the annual Clinton Global Initiative meeting Tuesday in New York.
Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 11:18 am

President Obama's health care law has so far survived challenges in Congress and the courts. But its biggest test could begin next week. That's when the online marketplaces offering health care coverage to the uninsured are set to start signing people up. The question is, will they come?

Read more
Around the Nation
5:18 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Obama Comforts Families Of Navy Yard Shooting

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 10:35 am

President Obama spoke at a memorial service Sunday for the victims of last week's shooting at the Washington Navy Yard. The president and first lady also met with families of the dead. Twelve people were killed in addition to the gunman, who died in a shootout with police.

Politics
4:38 pm
Fri September 20, 2013

Obama's Latest Challenges Go Beyond The GOP

President Obama gestures as he speaks to workers at the Ford Kansas City Stamping Plant in Liberty, Mo., on Friday.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 5:54 pm

President Obama took his fiscal fight with congressional Republicans to America's heartland Friday. Speaking at a Ford assembly plant near Kansas City, Mo., Obama warned that the federal government could turn into a "deadbeat" unless Congress passes a stopgap spending bill and agrees to raise the debt limit within the next few weeks.

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Politics
4:11 am
Thu September 19, 2013

Senators, Economists Lobby For Yellen To Be Fed Chairman

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 9:44 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

When the Federal Reserve explained its decision to keep pumping money into the financial system, it pointed to stubbornly high unemployment.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

That has long been a concern for the number two official at the Fed, Janet Yellen. She is now considered the leading candidate to replace Ben Bernanke, when he steps down as Fed chairman. His term expires in January.

Read more
Politics
5:36 am
Tue September 17, 2013

Financial Crisis Recovery Has Been Bumpy For Some

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 9:38 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

President Obama says the nation does not want to watch another game of chicken in Washington, D.C. this fall, and he's warning congressional Republicans not to force his hand. Congress must, once again, raise the debt ceiling, or the federal government won't be able to pay all of its bills. Mr. Obama told GOP lawmakers yesterday they should lift that limit on borrowing, without trying to extract concessions from him.

Read more
Middle East
4:54 am
Sat September 14, 2013

In Syria Debate, Obama's Internal Dialogue Becomes Audible

President Obama's speeches about Syria have at times seemed to reveal his own internal struggle on the topic.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Sat September 14, 2013 6:21 pm

A surprise agreement between the U.S. and Russia, announced Saturday, calls for Syria to destroy all of its chemical weapons by mid-2014. The deal follows a chaotic week of seat-of-the-pants foreign policy.

Performing on the international stage, Obama and his Cabinet secretaries have offered up one plot twist after another, though it often seems as if the actors are working without a script.

Read more
U.S.
4:51 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Treasury, IRS Debut New Tax Rules For Same-Sex Couples

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 6:01 pm

Officials of the Treasury Department and the IRS announced new rules allowing same sex couples who marry in states with gay marriage to file jointly if they move to other states.

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