We’ve all heard the news…our federal government has “shut down” for the first time in nearly two decades. Naturally, questions abound as to what is and isn’t impacted by the furlough of more than 700,000 “nonessential” federal employees. We know memorials, museums and parks across the country have closed their doors. But given the heated debate over the House’s proposed spending plan which includes some anti-Obamacare amendments, and that today is the landmark opening of the web-based insurance marketplaces created under the Affordable Care Act, one has to wonder how the shutdown will affect the rollout of Obamacare.
While the long-term consequences to the new health care law are uncertain, there are no immediate concerns. Despite technical glitches, the marketplaces opened on time – including those in the 34 states that are using the federal marketplace site, healthcare.gov. It’s important to remember that this only impacts about 20 percent of Americans (those who are either uninsured or purchase insurance on an individual basis).
Stay tuned as Words for Good® monitors the battle between Senate Democrats and House Republicans over the federal budget and key components of Obamacare, including the individual mandate to buy health insurance. The latest reports indicate a possible willingness by Republicans to introduce a short-term funding bill so that the federal government can reinstate federal workers and continue budget negotiations.