Government "Shutdown" - My9 New Jersey

Government "Shutdown"

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Trenton, New Jersey (My9NJ) -

The Federal Government went into what is being called a “shutdown” after the House and Senate were unable to come together on a federal budget.  Most of the issues have to do with Obamacare, which went into effect at midnight October 1st.

Even though the government is in a “shutdown”, many federal entitlements are still continuing. In New Jersey, mail is still being delivered, as well as Social Security and Medicare checks. Public schools from kindergarten to 12th grade are still open, though schools who offer free lunch may only be able to continue to offer it for about a month if the partial shutdown continues.

Federal courts will be open for the next two weeks, and unemployment checks are still being sent out for the time being. Federal money for college students may stop if this doesn’t get resolved.

Many people have expressed confusion over Obamacare. In a Monmouth University poll, 56% of New Jersey residents understood that Obamacare required you to have health insurance. The remaining percentage either did not think it required you to get health insurance or simply didn’t know.

In East Orange, Obamacare activists have set up a block party of sorts in front of a Walmart, trying to reach out about what is happening. The website and marketplace is open to register for healthcare coverage that will begin on January 1st. The activists are helping people who are signing up to pick the healthcare they need and want.

Democratic Strategist Steve Ayscue believes that this “shutdown” is an embarrassment to the nation.

“President Obama could have a cure for cancer, and it wouldn’t matter because in the eyes of the right-winged radicals in Washington, he’s still a bum,” he said.

He asks where the opposition’s alternative to Obamacare is since the issue of healthcare still needs to be resolved.

“One out of five Americans rely on the emergency room as their primary physician. That is just plain wrong for a country like ours,” he said.

Many people oppose Obamacare due to the rising cost of healthcare and employee layoffs. According to the House Committee on Energy and the Senate Committee on Finance, Education, and Labor, the projections in New Jersey is that healthcare costs are going to go up 39% on premiums.

Ayscue says that it costs more to not have an individual mandate. “For the uninsured right now, we have charity care funding that we’re providing hospitals in our urban centers. How are they going to pay for it down the road? They’re not going to be able to,” he said.

Even if it costs the taxpayers less, many fault Obama for mandating healthcare when America is in the middle of a job crisis. Besides those who are losing their jobs, employers aren’t hiring people because it costs too much to insure them.

There are still companies laying off their employers due to the rising cost of healthcare. UPS is dropping between 15,000 and 33,000 spouses of their employees, and Xerox is adding a 50% price tag on the premium. Ayscue believes that the companies have a responsibility to insure your employees, and should be ashamed if they drop employee insurance or increase the price.

Though Ayscue believes this is not about small business, but large corporations like Walmart, small businesses are still being affected by Obamacare. The National Federation of Independent Business said, in reaction to Obamacare, “We believe that it will hurt small businesses. We were opposed to the individual mandate from day one. New Jersey requires so many mandates that it’s impossible to offer a low-cost, affordable, bare-bones health insurance policy.”

In light of Washington’s inability to cooperate, Governor Christie is setting a good example. “The Governor has actually taken the right position on this issue about bipartisanship. If we did half the stuff in Washington that we’ve done in Trenton in terms of working across the aisle with Democrats and Republicans to solve problems we wouldn’t have this crisis right now nationally,” Ayscue said.

There seems to be no compromise in sight according to Ayscue. The Republicans are “against everything and for nothing,” he said.

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