Not even a government shutdown can stop Obamacare now
Program falls under mandatory funding exempt from shutdown
BY RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR
THURSDAY, SEP 26, 2013
WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans pulling on the budget thread can’t neatly unravel President Barack Obama’s health care law.
A partial government shutdown next week would leave the major parts of the law in place and rolling along, according to former Democratic and Republican budget officials, as well as the Obama administration itself. Health care markets for the uninsured would open as scheduled on Tuesday.
Deleting the money to implement the law, the GOP’s dream scenario, would indeed cripple Obamacare. But that’s much less likely to happen than a government shutdown. Obama wouldn’t allow the ruin of his hard-fought namesake legislation.
Part of the reason a shutdown wouldn’t stop the health care law is that government doesn’t grind to a halt. National defense, law enforcement, air traffic control and other activities involving the safety of human life and the protection of property continue.
Ditto for big entitlement programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, whose “mandatory” funding does not have to be renewed annually by Congress. The Affordable Care Act is the newest addition to that club of budget heavyweights.