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Debbie Wasserman Schultz Talks ObamaCare, Government Shutdown

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U.S. House of Representatives

Parts of the federal government are closed starting today after Congress failed to reach a deal on a budget extension bill. Meanwhile Florida Congresswoman and Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Shultz is making media rounds blasting House Republicans for the impasse. 

Most services Floridians rely on daily remain intact even as parts of the federal government are closed for business. Planes are still taking off. Mail is still being delivered and transit keeps moving. But in the meantime, families who show up to drop their children off at Head Start centers across the state may have to find alternative means of day care. And many of Florida’s 80,000 federal employees could find themselves without paychecks.

“Let’s keep in mind, it’s not just an economic impact on salaries that aren’t being paid. You have businesses that rely on federal workers being able to go to work and buy lunch in their restaurants, and shop in department stores," says  Democratic Congresswoman and national committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz:

"If you’re suddenly cut off for an indeterminate amount of time from being paid your salary, that dramatically impacts the economy far beyond the salary that’s being paid.”

Whether those employees do get back pay will have to be decided by congress. A new Quinnipiac Polling Institute survey out today shows 72-perent of Americans  are opposed to Congress shutting down the federal government to block implementation of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. But the shutdown isn’t stopping one part of the law from taking effect today: New online marketplaces where people can shop and compare health insurance plans. Those insurance exchanges are open for business at healthcare.gov.

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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