While extolling the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s healthcare marketplace which is scheduled to start on Tuesday Oct. 1, in his weekly address released by the White House on Saturday President Barack Obama attacked far-right republicans in the House of Representatives who are continuing to threaten a government shutdown unless the healthcare law is either defunded entirely or delayed one year.
A defunding or delay of the health care bill would leave 30 million of Americans without the ability to obtain affordable health insurance, resulting in unneeded suffering and death.
A government shutdown would result in damage to the slowly but steadily recovering economy, possibly sending the country into recession and increasing the unemployment rate.
“Past government shutdowns have disrupted the economy. This shutdown would, too,” President Obama explained. He continued, “At a moment when our economy has steadily gained traction, and our deficits have been falling faster than at any time in 60 years, a shutdown would be a purely self-inflicted wound. And that’s why many Republican Senators and Republican governors have urged Republicans in the House of Representatives to knock it off, pass a budget, and move on.”
Republicans are also threatening an unconstitutional refusal to raise the debt ceiling unless the President and most of the nation meets a whole list of other demands in addition to the defunding of the Affordable Care Act. These other demands include the removal of environmental safety regulations meant to reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, the removal of banking regulations meant to protect Main Street America against the irresponsible actions of unchecked big banks and Wall Street, and the enactment of unfair tax breaks to the wealthy and corporations at the expense of poor and middle-class Americans.
If the debt ceiling is not raised by Congress, it would not only hurt the U.S. economy but it will also negatively impact the global economy possibly creating a worldwide recession.
The United States is expected to reach the debt ceiling on or around October 17.
Concerning the debt ceiling increase, the President made it clear in no uncertain terms, “I will work with anyone who wants to have a serious conservation about our economic future. But I will not negotiate over Congress’ responsibility to pay the bills it has already racked up. I don’t know how to be more clear about this: no one gets to threaten the full faith and credit of the United States of America just to extract ideological concessions. No one gets to hurt our economy and millions of innocent people just because there are a couple laws you don’t like. It hasn’t been done in the past, and we’re not going to start doing it now.”