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Our World

October 1, 2013

VIDEO: President Obama defends Affordable Care Act, tells Congress to pass a budget

WASHINGTON — — President Barack Obama is hailing a “historic day” for uninsured Americans who now can purchase health care coverage through new insurance exchanges.

He says the opportunity is life-changing for those who could not get access to health care before Tuesday’s launch of the exchanges.

The president spoke in the White House Rose Garden Tuesday alongside a group of citizens who plan to purchase insurance through the system.

His message to Americans is that the health care exchanges will not shut down since they are previously funded. Much of federal government has been shuttered because Congress hasn’t passed a budget bill.

Obama accused Republicans of making the concept of keeping people uninsured “the centerpiece of their agenda.”

The government shutdown started at 11 p.m. CDT Monday when the Republican-lead House and Democrat-lead Senate couldn't reach a compromise that would keep the government funded without delaying the Affordable Care Act for at least a year.

Tuesday, Oklahoma U.S. Rep. Tom Cole is calling on Democrats to support delaying part of the health care overhaul so a budget can be passed to stop the partial government shutdown.

Appearing on MSNBC Tuesday, Cole called on House and Senate negotiations to end the impasse that led to the shutdown. The veteran Republican says Congress should delay a requirement that individual Americans have health coverage.

Cole calls the government shutdown “a big mistake” and says Republican House Speaker John Boehner has made several reasonable offers to the Senate.

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