Americans to taste 'Obamacare' despite government shutdown

Shutdown not to affect Obamacare process
Washington, Oct 1: As the administration opens new insurance marketplaces in 50 states despite the government shutdown, millions will learn what President Barack Obama's landmark healthcare law actually means for them.

Whatever the outcome, Obamacare launch would proceed, says Obama

Reuters reported that the launch marks a milestone for Obama's signature domestic policy achievement, which aims to provide subsidized healthcare to millions of the uninsured. The coverage is linked to other insurance market reforms and new consumer safeguards including a ban on discrimination based on gender and health history.

It also mandates that Americans obtain insurance or pay a fine.

"Nothing like this has ever existed before," said U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

Despite the Republicans having fought for months to delay or stop Obamacare, most recently triggering a shutdown of the federal government on Monday night, the process will still go on.

The president said that whatever the outcome of talks in Congress, the healthcare reform launch would proceed.

"The Affordable Care Act is moving forward. That funding is already in place. You can't shut it down," Obama resolutely informed his Republican opponents in a televised statement at the White House on Monday.

As many as 7 million Americans are already expected to sign up for insurance in 2014 through the exchanges, which open for enrollment on Tuesday and will be open for registration through March 31.

An additional 8 million people are expected to receive health benefits through an expansion of the government's Medicaid program for the poor.

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