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First Read Flash: Ups and downs

A month after workers went back following the 16-day government shutdown, it's now Democrats who are worrying about paying politically over health care reform.

Politico: "The stumble-filled debut of President Barack Obama’s health care law is drawing new attention to the other risks that have been on the radar screen of health care wonks for months. Think health insurance plans sinking under the weight of sick customers, newly insured people being stunned that they still have to spend on health care, and possibly another wave of canceled policies — right before the 2014 elections. They’re mostly worst-case scenarios, and an Obamacare recovery in the next few months could still prevent some of the biggest ones from ever happening. But health care experts are taking all of them a lot more seriously now — because at this point, why wouldn’t they?"

Writing from Pennsylvania and Iowa, Ed O'Keefe and Paul Kane from the Washington Post look at how "Democrats have been hoping to capitalize on the political fallout for the GOP from the recent government shutdown. If they can do so anywhere, it should be in the suburbs north and west of the city where three adjoining congressional districts represent a confluence of Democratic Party ambitions for the 2014 midterm elections."

Wall Street Journal: "So-called high-risk pools for people rejected by commercial health-insurance companies were supposed to be largely phased out when President Barack Obama's health law kicked in. Instead, they are gaining a brief second life in some states due to the problems with the federal health-insurance exchange created by the law. The development may represent short-term good news for the law, because it would keep some people with costly medical conditions out of the new policies, at least temporarily. But it adds to the uncertainty for insurers, analysts say, increasing concerns that could cause rates to rise for everyone next year."

Politico: "Without much fanfare, House Republicans are crafting an election-year agenda that’s meant to target what they believe are the real economic issues facing middle-class Americans — and thereby attract the kind of voters that the GOP and Mitt Romney alienated in 2012. They hope the initiatives will help them hang onto the majority in 2014 and paint a more positive image of the party."

NBC's Tom Curry: "House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Democrats are not losing confidence in President Barack Obama’s ability to make the Affordable Care Act work and don’t fear Obamacare’s effect on their chances in next year’s elections. Appearing Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press, Pelosi said, “I don’t think you can tell what will happen next year” when voters cast ballots in the mid-term elections, but “I will tell you this: Democrats stand tall in support of the Affordable Care Act.”

NBC's Alex Moe: "Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., the 2012 Republican vice presidential nominee, made his return to the battleground state of Iowa Saturday night and brought a firm warning for Iowans for the next go around: be skeptical. “The next time you have a famous politician coming through Iowa, breezing through the towns, talking about big government, let’s be a little more skeptical,” Ryan said after berating President Barack Obama and Democrats for the troubled rollout of the health-care law."

Washington Post: "Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) said in an interview broadcast Sunday that the 2016 GOP presidential ticket should be made up of governors, not members of Congress. "I think it's got to be an outsider," Walker said on ABC's "This Week With George Stepahnopoulos." "I think both the presidential and the vice presidential nominees should either be a former or current governor, people who have done successful things in their states, who've taken on big reforms, who are ready to move America forward.""

The Hill's Cameron Joseph: "President Obama is now sharing center stage with the Clintons. Five years after beating Hillary Clinton to the Democratic presidential nomination, there are arguably three presidents in town: Obama, Bill Clinton and perhaps the first female commander-in-chief. As the rollout of ObamaCare’s health exchanges declined into an embarrassing fiasco, Bill Clinton rubbed salt into White House wounds by suggesting that Obama should “honor the commitment” he made to let people keep health plans they liked." The intervention was the latest sign, if any were needed, that the Clintons have their own agenda and it is not identical to Obama’s."

AP: "The biggest Republican-leaning money machines are spending dramatically less to help the party ahead of the 2014 congressional elections, a year after big-dollar conservative groups poured millions into unsuccessful campaigns against President Barack Obama and Democratic candidates, and the GOP failed to retake the White House or the Senate.Groups such as American Crossroads and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce no longer are willing to risk major investments on hard-line conservatives who embarrassed GOP leaders last fall and rattled the confidence of party donors. Many remain concerned after last month’s government shutdown highlighted Republican divisions."

Roll Call: "The 16-day government shutdown was clearly no detriment to campaign fundraising, as both Senate committees posted solid numbers in October. Still, Senate Democrats again outraised their GOP counterparts. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee announced raising $4.8 million in October — $1 million more than the National Republican Senatorial Committee. The DSCC finished the month with $11.1 million in cash on hand and $6.2 million in debt. The NRSC had $5 million on hand and no debt as of Oct. 31."

LOUISIANA: Daily Rundown's Jessica Taylor: "Political newcomer Vance McAllister is headed to Congress after an upset win Saturday evening in a Louisiana special congressional election – winning the GOP runoff even after coming out for Medicaid expansion.  McAllister, a businessman who had the backing of “Duck Dynasty” stars, ran a more centrist campaign in contrast to his opponent, who took a hardline against Obamacare. The result? He upset frontrunner, state Sen. Neil Riser, by 20 points, 60%-40%, in the low-turnout runoff for the 5th District contest. He will succeed former Rep. Rodney Alexander, who resigned earlier this year to take a post in Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration."

MISSISSIPPI: Washington Post: "Former congressman Travis Childers (D-Miss.) says he is considering entering the Mississippi Senate race next year — particularly if longtime Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) opts not to seek another term. Conservative and tea party groups have lined up behind GOP candidate and state Sen. Chris McDaniel, who got into the race in advance of Cochran's announcement. The prospect of a hard-fought GOP primary has Democrats hoping to capitalize in a tough state."

WYOMING: MSNBC: "After an appearance on Fox News Sunday in which Wyoming Senate candidate Liz Cheney said she and her married gay sister “just disagree” on the subject of marriage equality, Mary Cheney posted a sharp rebuke to her Facebook page.  “Liz – this isn’t just an issue on which we disagree, you’re just wrong – and on the wrong side of history,” she wrote. Mary Cheney’s wife, Heather Poe, also took to Facebook to sound off. “Liz has been a guest in our home, has spent time and shared holidays with our children, and when Mary and I got married in 2012 – she didn’t hesitate to tell us how happy she was for us. To have her say she doesn’t support our right to marry is offensive to say the least."

New York Times: "A feud between the two has spilled into public view, involving social media, an angry same-sex spouse, a high-profile election and a father who feels uncomfortably caught between his two children. The situation has deteriorated so much that the two sisters have not spoken since the summer, and the quarrel threatens to get in the way of something former Vice President Dick Cheney desperately wants — a United States Senate seat for Liz."