The United States of America federal government has shut down as a result of conflicts between President Barack Obama and Congress over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. All non-essential government workers will be placed on furlough.
The shutdown of 95-96 took place from December 16, 1995 to January 6, 1996. The shutdown lasted for 21 days. Mayor Vincent Gray has promised District of Columbia residents that there will be continued customer service for residents as the shutdown closes federal services. "I have determined that everything the District government does – protecting the health, safety and welfare of our residents and visitors – is essential. It is ridiculous that a city of 632,000 people – a city where we have balanced our budget for 18 consecutive years and have a rainy-day fund of well over a billion dollars – cannot spend its residents’ own local tax dollars to provide them the services they've paid for without Congressional approval. Congress can’t even get its own fiscal house in order; they should be taking lessons from us rather than imposing needless suffering on us. I will not allow the safety and well-being of District residents to be compromised by Congress’s dysfunction,'' Gray said.
Obama has made it clear that even if the government is shut down Americans will still be able to go to their healthcare marketplaces to enroll in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. “In the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one should go broke just because they get sick. In the United States of America, health care is not a privilege for the fortunate few -- it is a right. And I knew that if we didn't do something about our unfair and inefficient health care system, it would keep driving up our deficits, it would keep burdening our businesses, it would keep hurting our families, and it would keep holding back economic growth,” Obama said.
The White House has said that a family of four making $50,000 a year will be able to get healthcare coverage for less than $100 a year. “At the center of the Affordable Care Act is the premise that we need to make health care more affordable and accessible for more Americans, and a new report released today demonstrates just how affordable insurance will be. The report, released by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), finds that in state after state, affordable options will be available through the Health Insurance Marketplace in 2014,” the White House said.
The list of agencies which will be closed will be updated. The District of Columbia Public Schools will be open to serve students. “In the event of a federal government shutdown, Mayor Gray plans to keep the DC government operating at full capacity. That means that all DCPS schools and the DCPS Central Office will remain open and all programs will proceed as regularly scheduled. All staff should report to work as normal. Our goal is to ensure absolutely no disruption for our students, our families, and our employees, Chancellor Kaya Henderson, said.
After hours of debate the end result was the same. The government shut down at midnight. The DC Heathlink as reported by Examiner.com will be open today.