North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

October 30, 2013

NJN/am for Wednesday, October 30

By Robert Carter
North Jefferson News

— Welcome to Wednesday...

Weather: Nice today, stormy tomorrow. Mostly sunny today, with highs near 80 and lows near 60. But Halloween will be a problem, as a storm system moves in that may bring severe weather to the area, though that's more likely farther to the northwest. The leading edge of storms is expected to reach metro Birmingham by about 7 p.m. Highs Thursday will be in the upper 70s with lows in the lower 60s.

Sibelius on the hot seat. The embattled secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services is expected to be grilled this morning by a Congressional committee over the disastrous beginnings of the online health-care exchange portion of the Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare. This comes as the centerpiece of the exchange, the website, went out of service yet again on Tuesday evening.

You can keep your health insurance, unless... In a story originally reported by Montgomery TV station WSFA, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama is canceling the health-insurance plans of more than 80,000 policyholders, nearly all of them self-employed or owners of small businesses. The reason: the existing plans do not meet standards required by ObamaCare. The announcement falls in line with reports over the last 72 hours that millions across the nation are facing a similar fate, despite Obama's repeated promises during campaigns that those who liked their current coverage could keep it – a statement that Congressional opponents of the new law are now reminding voters and the media about.

Sports: This could be it. The Boston Red Sox return home to Fenway Park tonight, hoping to close out a World Series championship in Game 6. John Lackey again goes to the mound for the Sox, while Michael Wacha is the starter for St. Louis. Boston has a 3-2 lead in the series; tonight's game starts at 7:07 (Fox 6).