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FROM THIS EPISODE

The roll-out of Healthcare.gov was a public relations disaster, and the political consequences may last until 2016. But, with the Obamacare signup deadline just 11 days away, there are unexpected signs of momentum. Of course, it's not over yet. On this rebroadcast of today's To the Point, we get a progress report. Also, President Obama ramps up sanctions against Russia while the EU waits, and nonstop news coverage without any news.

Banner image: The NBA's LeBron James pitches Obamacare

Producers:
Evan George
Kareem Maddox
Caitlin Shamberg

Obama Ramps Up Sanctions against Russia while EU Waits 7 MIN, 38 SEC

As Russia today continued the process of annexing Crimea and built up forces nearby, President Obama announced expanded sanctions to include more senior officials of the Russian government. "In addition, we are today sanctioning a number of other individuals with substantial resources and influence who provide material support to Russian leadership, as well as a bank that provides material support to these individuals." In Brussels, foreign ministers of the European Union are also threatening further action. Luke Baker is Brussels Bureau Chief for the Reuters News Service.

Guests:
Luke Baker, Reuters (@LukeReuters)

An Unexpected Surge for Obamacare: Is It Real? 32 MIN, 2 SEC

The sad story of healthcare.gov may or may not have a happy ending but there are signs of momentum. The latest projection is six million signups by the enrollment deadline of March 31 -- not good enough for Republicans but, for the White House, it's comeback city. But how many who've signed up have actually paid up? What about Latinos and young people in the big states that matter the most? We hear about a last minute drive to increase momentum, including Between Two Ferns, LeBron James and March Madness.

 

Guests:
Joanne Kenen, Politico (@JoanneKenen)
Charles Gaba, ACASignups.Net (@charles_gaba)
Anna Gorman, Kaiser Health News (@annagorman)
Olga Khazan, The Atlantic (@olgakhazan)

More:
ACASignups.net
Gorman on young California immigrants eligible for coverage
Kenen on final Obamacare push focusing on Latino community
Khazan on the benefits of insurance for women outweighing its costs

The Mystery of the Missing Malaysian Plane 10 MIN, 57 SEC

Early today, CNN reported that two objects picked up by satellite in the sea off Australia might be debris from Malaysian Airlines flight 370. For 13 days, there's been no solid information about what really happened to Flight 370, which is still missing.  But daily news coverage continues—on TV, radio and in major newspapers. CNN has hardly covered anything else — and audiences have responded by tuning in. CNN's Anderson Cooper beat Bill O'Reilly on Fox News, a rare event in the cable news world.

Guests:
Erik Wemple, Washington Post (@ErikWemple)
Ric Gillespie, International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery

More:
Gillespie's 'Finding Amelia: The True Story of the Earhart Disappearance'
Wemple on real explanatory journalism, punctuated by occasional silliness

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