Ask the People

At 8:00, on 1 October – in spite of a U.S. government shutdown triggered by congressional Republicans’ resistance to Obamacare – the New York State Healthcare Exchange opened for business. It had about two million visits in its first 90 minutes.

Healthcare.gov is a federal portal through which most states can search for affordable health coverage, established under President Obama’s Affordable Care Act. In the flood of interest, site managers struggled to cope with the high volume of traffic, with many people experiencing delays.

Elsewhere, the U.S. government is on hold: National parks are closed and all but the essential NASA staff sent home; some employees will stay on the job (many without pay) for the duration of the shutdown, which is predicted to last a week. The funding for the active army is safe, but civilian military were sent home.

This has all happened because Senate Republicans insist the Federal budget include provisions to either defund, derail or otherwise chip away at Obamacare. Democrats are just as insistent that it does not.

From here, the traffic on healthcare.gov looks like a clear message from the public. Hopefully Republicans are listening.

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