As the government shutdown continues, it seems that despite the fact that the GOP is seen as responsible for the shutdown by a majority of Americans, they still insist that the government will not reopen without some sort of concession. Like Indiana Republican Representative Marlin Stutzman told the Washington Examiner, “We have to get something out of [the shutdown], and I don’t even know what that is.”
Still, the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, went live October 1 irrespective of the shutdown that happened in order to stop it. Even though the roll-out was plagued with software glitches, the White House says that the program is working well thus far. They have declined to release any official statistics, saying it’s simply too early.
For Kendall Brown, an employee at a non-profit in Oklahoma, the results of this political battle are, for her, a matter of life or death. In an open-letter to Congress, Brown says, “if you defund Obamacare, or delay it even one year, as you are debating today, then this will be my last letter to you. I will be dead before my 27th birthday.”
Brown suffers from Crohn’s Disease, a bowel disorder for which there is no cure. Brown talks about how she struggled to stay insured until an early Obamacare provision allowed her to stay on her parents’ health insurance until she was 26. During that time, she had major surgery to remove two feet of intestine, and so she says that Obamacare literally saved her life.
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As the Executive Director of her non-profit organization, she is unable to get insurance through her employer. So, in order to maintain her treatment, she needs to be able to purchase healthcare through the exchanges, using the government subsidies. No deals have yet been reached in Congress.