Obamacare and the Government Shutdown

Monday, September 23, 2013

Protesters demonstrate in front of the Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on April 6, 2011 urging for government spending cut. (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images/Getty)

It's one week to a possible government shutdown -- if Republicans and Democrats can't pass a new budget. Jonathan Chait, daily columnist at New York Magazine, talks about the Republican effort to tie funding the government to the defunding of Obamacare.


Jonathan Chait

Comments [23]

Bill Mullen from New Rochelle


President Obama should close down ALL Federal spending in the districts of those who vote to close the goovernment. No ports, no highway exits, no mail, no Federal courts; move all soldiers & familieas from where they are in these CD's, No education or internet subsidy, NO FEDERAL DOLLARS, not one. No fire-fighters, NO FEMA, NO VA HOSPITALS.

And that saved income can be better spent in districts of congressmen who will support our government without blackmail.

Sep. 24 2013 04:52 PM

@Fred from Reality

"Affordable Care Act

I expect better from Brian and WNYC"


Don't be so disappointed in Brian and WNYC. Obama himself has embraced the term 'ObamaCare'. What politician would not want his name attached to a program that he truly feels the country will come to embrace and gain benefit from. BHO turned the tables on the GOP by grabbing their label and turning it into a badge.

GE, IBM and others are already pointing their retirees in healthcare exchanges and winding down their own involvement.

Sep. 24 2013 11:39 AM

Well, Mr. Bad, you may be right.

ObamaCare *is* too expensive compared to what you get BUT IT DOES get more people covered. Like you, I prefer a single payer model or even our own national health service - and reaching the single-payer model will be far simpler from where ObamaCare takes us rather than where we are now. What ObamaCare DOES do is bend the current cost curve downward. I have little doubt that the percent of GDP spent on healthcare, now at 17%, will hit 16% rather than 18%. [even at 16% US health costs are 25-33% HIGHER than other developed nations.] Clearly, there is more work to do.

@Joe Mirsky - How old are you? 5% of every dollar you earned went to MediCare - what makes you think you used all of that up?

Sep. 24 2013 11:34 AM
Fred from Reality

Affordable Care Act

I expect better from Brian and WNYC

Sep. 23 2013 11:49 AM
Roger6T6 from new York

What Chair & other pundits omit is that GOP opposition is driven by racism.they oppose it because Obama proposed it. The 'American people' rejected the GOP position in the last election.
But their bedrock position has always been to try and make a black president 'fail' as Rush ordered.

Sep. 23 2013 11:03 AM
Mr. Bad from NYC

The Republicans are embarrassing themselves again but Obamacare is going to fail utterly. Once people see how little value is in these policies and how high the out-of-pocket costs will be they will start paying the IRS fines instead of buying insurance, especially young people who are not poor enough for medicaid. The insurance model for delivering medical treatment is outmoded and imposes costs over and above our already extremely wasteful and expensive care system.

Healthy kids really don't need health insurance,why would they buy it? Break your arm? Walk into the ER and get it set, give a phony SSN and you're debt free vs. pay your beer money into a policy with a $10,000.00 deductible and no dental or vision (both the primary types of care young people actually do need). What a joke. We need single payer, end of story. If Obama has some sort of plan to use Obamacare to transition us to single payer I'll happily admit I underestimated him but otherwise, as far as domestic entitlement reform goes, he is nothing but a sell out and a failure.

Sep. 23 2013 10:52 AM
Joe Mirsky from Pompton Lakes NJ

@Joe Having lived long enough to have you pay for my health insurance, I have also discovered that such an attempt would be pointless and futile. If you want to read about someone who is really conservative google Joe Mirsky Not Many Crooks in Congress.

Sep. 23 2013 10:51 AM
fuva from harlemworld


Sep. 23 2013 10:48 AM
MikeInBrklyn from Clinton Hill

This is all so stupid to me. It would have been so much simple to implement a universal health care system ala Canada. Everyone pays a smaller amount more in taxes on purchased to cover the costs and everyone gets access to health care. The US has a way of implementing taxes while calling it something else. If we stop this kind of voodoo politics, then maybe progress will be realized.

And, yes, I do support the law.

Sep. 23 2013 10:46 AM
Sam from NYC

Brian, why do you say "on balance" the American public doesn't like Obamacare? The polls saying most folks don't like it, looked at more closely, show that many not in favor wanted single payer, but they are generally in favor of universal health care.

Sep. 23 2013 10:46 AM
John A

Healthcare pricing reminds me of the forever unanswered question: 'What precisely is the difference between illegal price gouging and fundamentally American capitalism?'

Sep. 23 2013 10:46 AM
Abe from Brooklyn

This law is destined to fail becuase yung people cannot (and probably would not anyway) pay for it. It is less expensive to pay the fine. End of story. Let's get real here. Also, why is congress and big unions now exempted?

Sep. 23 2013 10:45 AM
fuva from harlemworld

As usual with the vehement resistance to this man – after their hypocritical guy completely futzed up one war, to start another unjustified, unfunded one, while enabling the biggest market failure and economic depression in 90 years, turning a budget surplus into a gigantic deficit and implementing an unfunded prescription plan while otherwise ignoring the healthcare crisis -- there's something visceral/refexive going on here...

At the least, these base pols are enabling the base disingenuousness of their base base: When polled, these same folks highly approve of the features of Obamacare if they're not identified as Obamacare.

Sep. 23 2013 10:45 AM
Michael from Manhattan

Conservatives are confident...? or deluded ? they are acting pretty hysterically to me ? pulling out all the lies and low blows .. does NOT sound confident to me

Sep. 23 2013 10:44 AM

@Joe Mirsky-
That just goes to show you the power of propaganda...actually foxaganda.
Did you explain why they're wrong?

Sep. 23 2013 10:44 AM

Obamacare won't be repealed because the Republicans' funders love it.

It's a guaranteed revenue stream from the healthiest, youngest people straight into their pockets.

The purpose of all the Republican protest is leverage, and to get Obots like Jonathon Chait to throw the truly good and progressive program of Medicare under the bus in order to protect it.

Sep. 23 2013 10:41 AM
kikakiki26 from wallstreet/harlem

I can't understand how they can get away with doing nothing but voting against the affordable care act 42 times? Heard this morning the GOP is using savings from the ACA for the budget deficit but if you defund ACA how do use the savings? How is Romneycare working in Mass?

Sep. 23 2013 10:41 AM
Joe Mirsky from Pompton Lakes NJ

I know a couple for whom national health insurance isn’t just socialism, it’s communism! And their health insurance? It comes from the Veteran’s Administration where the wife works as a nurse.

Another man I know who is against whatever socialism they’re cooking up in Washington works at a state agency and gets health insurance courtesy of New Jersey taxpayers.

As for me, I have the socialized medicine: Medicare. thanks for paying for it.

Sep. 23 2013 10:40 AM

Why is it that every pic of the tea party is of old white angry men? Oh right- that's what they are.

Sep. 23 2013 10:40 AM

The House is the body that controls funding. If the government shuts down it will be because they turn off the funding. It's very simple- it's the GOP who want have the power to shut down the government. They aren't fooling anyone.

Sep. 23 2013 10:38 AM
Jenna from Hamilton Heights

All of these arguments only reinforce how completely out of touch the congress and senate are. Do they actually understand what it is like to be a normal person? I think not.
Their is a failure to see the larger picture of what is at stake.

Sep. 23 2013 10:38 AM
Edith from Manhattan

Gosh, you'd think you'd get a more realistic view of what is going on here instead of this drivel. We don;t tune into WNYC for its ability to preach to the choir!

Sep. 23 2013 10:36 AM
Joe from nearby

"Legislative arsonists"- describes them perfectly. I would add "hysterical."

They're terrified that Obamacare will work well.

Sep. 23 2013 10:35 AM

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