Obamacare and the National Government shut down: 

1.) If there is a National shut-down, everything will be in limbo, but not on-hold. (We don’t know right away how certain programs will be affected, but we do know, most will not be affected at all.) The shut down could last hours, months or days. It’s a high – stake game of coward politics to force a hand. (I eloquently quote Erik Hare here.) However, remember the health care insurance exchanges are run by State government.

2.) The Obamacare bill itself, is not void. Women’s contraceptives and screenings still must be covered by insurance. Pre-existing conditions still are in limbo until 2014, (though some insurance providers are taking out that clause, meaning they no longer apply.) Anything passed by the Affordable Health Care Act is still in play and will be, even with a shut down.

3.) Remember, during a shut down, the government is still funded for a period of time. In this case, it’s until December 15, 2013. If the government closes on Oct. 1, we won’t feel much as far as insurance or health goes.

I truly believe this is a scare tactic and power play. Partisan politics aside, certain House members decided to puff out their chest and try and “defund” Obamacare when in all reality, it does NOTHING. Because, afterall,, the Senate has said they wouldn’t pass the provision and President Obama has the final say with a veto stamp.

It’s a game, of your health and mine. And I, for one- don’t believe it’s worth the hype or attention that some members of our government are seeking. However, BE INFORMED. Know how this affects you and ask questions, when needed.

As far as a Government shut-down, remember these key things: 

1.) A shut down may affect Federal workers and their partners on contracts. They can be put on unpaid time off for an undetermined amount of time. This could hurt some companies in MN who are up for contract renewals, etc. during that time. Remember that people are paid different ways in our government’s structure: Some are paid from Federal pockets and some from State. While State programs, operations and funding is not affected, the Federal coffers will likely be closed to new projects, or anything after December 15th, should the shut down last that long.

2.) The healthcare affected will likely be Medicare, which is run at the Federal level. This could mean a lapse in payments, slower waits for submissions and more. However, Medicare does NOT expire and is NOT voided by a shut down.

3.) Ironically, we’ll pay Supreme Court Judges, but shut down disease control hotlines. (Who knew?)

4.) According to Yahoo, data might be affected. Data from Labor Statistics and more, could fail to be posted, meaning there’d be a lot of catching up to do.

5.) State-level programs will not be hurt. These include: MNFIP, the first 26 weeks of Unemployment and more. (Remember, the State covers the first part of unemployment and then Federal extensions kick in.)

Want to be the most well-versed person in shut downs? Here’s a few great resources: 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/09/18/everything-you-need-to-know-about-why-the-government-might-shut-down/

http://holt.house.gov/?option=com_content&task=view&id=804

http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/federalbudgetprocess/a/Government-Shutdowns.htm