October 1 is looming large for President Barack Obama – and the nation.
Four days before a potential government shut down, Republicans are holding Obama’s Affordable Care Act hostage.
The budget fight between Democrats and Republicans is all about the Affordable Care Act – or “ObamaCare” as Republicans call it. If Congress doesn’t vote to approve funding, large sections of the federal government could shut down and some federal employees could be furloughed immediately.
Obama’s Affordable Care Act starts Oct. 1 when Americans can begin to buy health insurance through a new federally run health-care service at reduced costs.
In fact, First Lady Michelle Obama says the majority of people without insurance will now be able to find a health care plan for under $100 a month.
“You’re going to be able to purchase high-quality health insurance for less than the cost of your cell phone bill,” the president said.
But critics of the law insist that Obama’s plan will dramatically increase premiums and Senate Republicans want to de-fund the initiative and scrap the law.
With polls showing that many Americans don’t understand the law, Obama delivered a speech Thursday at Prince George’s Community College in Maryland to explain his plan in simpler terms.
Obama said when consumers can sign up for insurance – from October 1 through March of 2014 –the average American will have 53 different plans to choose from and 95 percent of uninsured Americans will see their premiums cost much less than expected. He said the Affordable Care Act will help make health insurance coverage more affordable and accessible for millions of Americans.
“Tell your friends, tell your classmates, tell your family members,” Obama told a cheering crowd. “We need you to spread the word” about the law to counter those “working to make it fail” and have set up “every conceivable roadblock.”
He mocked Republicans as threatening to shut down the government if he won’t agree to “gut” Obamacare.
“Think about it,” Obama said, “Shutting down the government just because you don’t like a law that was passed and found Constitutional.”
Regarding a government shutdown, Obama said: “Even if you believe that Obamacare somehow was going to hurt the economy, it won’t hurt the economy as bad as a government shutdown.”
It’s no coincidence that Obama selected Prince George’s Community College to deliver his message because supporters of the law are eager for young, healthy people to sign up for coverage to lower premiums for all participants. Obama is also speaking in Prince George’s County — a county that is 65 percent black – at a time when many black Americans say they are also confused by the health law.
So how does the Affordable Care Act impact you?