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Gov. Perry opines on federal government shutdown

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AUSTIN – Ahead of a possible shutdown of the federal government, Texas Gov. Rick Perry issued a statement today in support of the Republicans' attempt to delay implementation of Obamacare through early defunding.

“House Republicans offered a compromise solution that would temporarily address Republican concerns about Obamacare while also allowing the federal government to continue to operate," Perry said. "Democrat leadership in Congress has refused to negotiate, and in so doing is jeopardizing thousands of employees, critical services, and economic recovery."

Several leaders on the Hill, including some Republicans, have criticized the move by the GOP as a desperate attempt to block the federal health care law as long as possible.

“The Affordable Care Act was passed by Congress, signed by the President and upheld by the Supreme Court of the United States of America—it is the law of the land. I support amending it to improve it; but I do not support using a government shutdown to end it, as many of my colleagues have chosen to do." U.S. Congressman Al Green (D-TX) said.

“In anticipation of the federal government’s looming shutdown, I directed state agencies that will be affected by the suspension of federal funding to develop contingency plans to prioritize essential functions and use existing budget transfer authority to allow these services to Texans to continue until Washington gridlock ends,” Perry added.

Democratic leaders expect the open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act to continue despite the potential shutdown.

"Democrats fought tooth and nail to pass the Affordable Care Act and, today, Republicans shut down the Federal Government because Congress would not defund it," Texas Democratic Party Chairman Lane Lewis said. "But that shutdown will not stop the first day of open enrollment."

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, most of those shopping in the new online health care portal (www.healthcare.gov) will qualify for discounts based on their income, which will also make the premiums more affordable.

“The Affordable Care Act is designed to end unfair discrimination based on gender, preexisting conditions, employment status, and age when obtaining health insurance,” Green said. “It is my sincere hope that the opening of the Health Insurance Marketplaces will move the U.S. forward in making progress towards providing comprehensive and affordable healthcare for all Americans.”

On this new online service, there is no denial for pre-existing conditions, no annual or lifetime limits on coverage, and no higher rates for women compared to men. The open enrollment period for the first year of the Marketplace runs from October 1, 2013 through March 31, 2014.

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