It is over for now.
The country will be funded through January 15, and the debt cushion has been extended through February 7.
Republicans like Tea Party endorsed Brad Wenstrup was not happy that the government shutdown came to an end, or the debt-ceiling crisis was averted. Wenstrup voted against the passed measure last night, but continued to spin his side of the story on his Facebook page.
“The House of Representatives has fought and stands firm on the simple principles that everyone should be treated fairly under the law and that laws must be enforced as written.”
I remain unclear what exactly Wenstrup means when he beats his drum of “everyone should be treated fairly”. The Affordable Care Act has ended pre-existing condition clauses,
it will allow tens-of-millions of uninsured to get access to affordable quality health insurance through the healthcare marketplace, Medicaid and CHiP have been expanded which means coverage for those who need it most, small businesses are eligible for tax credits for up to 50% of their employees health insurance premium costs.
Wenstrup likes to talk about how government is exempt from Obamacare. A dishonest statement which he continues to make.
"Obamacare is bad medicine and giving a special exemption for any member of Congress or congressional staffer goes against the rule of law. If there's one thing all Americans can agree on it's that Washington insiders should not be given the privilege of avoiding the dangers of Obamacare," Wenstrup said.
Currently, members of Congress and their staff receive health care coverage through the Federal Employee Health Benefits Plan (FEHBP). The FEHBP permits persons to choose from a set of options to pick the health plan that is right for them. As with any employer-based health plan, the federal government (the employer) can contribute to the health care premium of the employee and the contributions are not included in taxes.
Section 1312 of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) requires that all members of Congress and their staff must either get their health care coverage from a health plan created by Obamacare or through an Obamacare exchange. The idea was, if Congress is going to write a law that requires tens of thousands of Americans to sign up for health coverage through the individual mandate, Congress should be prepared to share in that experience.
There is no exemption for Congress or their staffers. Republicans like Brad Wenstrup need to stop giving out mis-information. Deceit is not “good medicine” Mr. Wenstrup.
The partial government shutdown has come at a extreme cost. Standard and Poor's estimates this shutdown has cost the economy $24 billion.