NATIONAL — The Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama’s signature legislative accomplishment, has begun enrolling citizens in new health exchanges in states all across America despite a government shutdown orchestrated by Republicans in Congress.
While the GOP remains dedicated to killing the health reform law, the first national policy aimed at providing every American with protection against injury and illness since President Teddy Roosevelt called for it more than 100 years ago, there is virtually no chance Democrats will cave in.
Americans almost unanimously acknowledge that the Republicans are to blame for any problem created by the government shutdown, a fact demonstrated by a sizable decline in Gov. Chris Christie’s lead over Democratic challenger Barbara Buono.
The dent in Christie’s campaign machine puts new focus on the Republican heavyweight’s influence on national Tea Party and other conservative policymakers. The New Jersey Governor has often been mentioned among the prospective 2016 Republican presidential candidates.
While Christie has not been supportive of efforts to shut down the federal government, he has failed to distance himself from Republican rhetoric that justified the strategy, all aimed at disputing the promise of Obamacare.
As enrollees find insurance premiums more reasonable than Republicans claimed they would be and seniors discover that contrary to GOP threats, even Medicare benefits are improving under the new law, there may be added pressure on moderate Republicans like Christie to explain why they failed to tell the truth when their political allies were running amok with baseless scare tactics and reckless attempts to stop Obamacare, including the shutdown.
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