For four years, Republicans have waged war against the Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as Obamacare, but as important elements of the law kick-in; time is running out to defeat the measure. The first public exchanges from which citizens can purchase their own insurance open on October 1, 2013, panicking the political opponents of the bill. Thus the Republicans in the House of Representatives issued a very clear ultimatum: defund Obamacare or risk a partial shutdown of the federal government.
A bill passed the House Friday morning funding everything in the budget but Obamacare. The plan is to send the budget along and allow Senate Democrats to either defund the measure or take the heat for the shutdown. This latest move is one that many feel is wildly irresponsible, especially considering the stress sequestration has already placed on all federal institutions. Still the Republican party is divided in their approach. Rep. Eric Cantor tried to pass an amendment to the act that would have increased funding in areas most amenable to conservatives, but the bill was pulled because Republicans didn’t want to amend a law they’d rather repeal. While Rep Cantor placed governance over politics, most of his colleagues have drawn lines in the sand, immobile in the face of compromise.
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Yet it all may be for naught, according to Talking Points Memo, which says that even there’s a partial shutdown, Obamacare will still be able to get its funding. While they are vague about the specific mechanics of it, it seems that ironically, the only government program that would be funded and working in a shutdown is Obamacare. Still with midterm elections on the horizon next year, the campaign may see an ouster of incumbents if they don’t get back down to the business of the people’s business.