Addressing the partial government shutdown that went into effect last night and the first day of open enrollment in the Affordable Care Act, President Obama just a few minutes ago praised his cornerstone healthcare legislation while also making it clear that he thinks some of the House Republicans are total assholes.
Standing in front of a group of people who had once been excluded from reasonably priced insurance due to things like preexisting conditions, a group that is today benefiting from the law Republicans are trying to retroactively gut, Obama put the blame for the government shutdown squarely on the GOP:
At midnight last night, for the first time in 17 years, Republicans in Congress chose to shut down the federal government. Let me be more specific: One faction of one party in one house of congress in one branch of government shut down major parts of the government, all because they didn't like one law.
Obama went on to say that the Republicans are putting America's economy at risk. "We know that the last time Republicans shut down the government, in 1996, it hurt our economy," he said. "And unlike 1996, our economy's still recovering from the worst recession in generations."
House Republicans have made a show of the fact that they are attempting to negotiate with Democratic lawmakers to get the government back in action. Obama responded to that bit of theater by making it clear he is not willing to bargain when it comes to a law that that was passed more than three years ago by both houses of Congress, found constitutional by the Supreme Court, and was a central issue in last year's presidential election, which he won. "I'll work with anybody who's got a serious idea to make the Affordable Care Act work better," he said. "But as long as I am president I will not give in to reckless demands by some in the Republican Party to deny affordable health insurance to millions of hardworking Americans."