Obama plans to tout Obamacare claimants

Neil Munro White House Correspondent
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President Barack Obama will continue his no-compromise budget strategy Tuesday when he holds a mid-day meeting with supposed beneficiaries of his landmark health care law.

“The President will meet with Americans who will benefit from the opening of Health Insurance Marketplaces and being able to comparison shop for the health plans as a result of the Affordable Care Act,” says the White House’s calendar for Oct. 1, the first day of the 2014 budget.

He’ll likely use the meeting to demand that the GOP stop calling for passage of a budget bill that reforms and delays Obamacare.

One change would prevent the government from contributing to the health insurance of Congressional and Executive Branch staffers. The second change would allow a one-year delay in the law’s requirement that younger people must buy expensive health insurance to subsidize health insurance for older people.

Late Monday, the Democratic-controlled Senate voted down the House’s budget bill within minutes of its arrival in the Senate.

The vote effectively prevented the passage of a bill funding the government after Sept. 30.

The immediate result is a halt in paychecks for government employees. Roughly 800,000 government employees must stay home, although critical government programs will continue. Those continued programs include Social Security and Medicare, as well as military, law enforcement and air traffic control.

The Senate’s quick rejection of the House bill minimized press coverage of the two Republican reforms.

In response, the House voted at 1 a.m. for a bill that reiterated the Obamacare reforms, and sought a joint House-Senate conference to negotiate a final budget bill.

Democratic leaders insist they will not negotiate, and aides argue that their no-compromise strategy will help them politically in the 2014 midterm elections because the public will blame the GOP for the budget impasse.

Prior to the vote, Obama lauded the Senate Democrats’ hard-line strategy in a phone call to the Democratic leaders in the Senate and House.

“The President expressed his gratitude to the Democratic Leaders… and made clear that leaders in Washington have a responsibility to do more than just avert disaster,” said a White House statement.

The “do more” policy, according to the statement, includes continued heavy government spending to jump-start the still-stalled economy.

“The President will continue to work with members in both parties to pass a budget that protects the kinds of investments we need to grow the economy, create good jobs and build a better bargain for the middle class,” said the statement.

Obama also called the GOP leadership, and reiterated his demand they pass a bill without any changes to the huge Obamacare plan.

“The President made clear to the Republican Leadership that they must act, as the Senate has, to pass the bill that funds the government for six weeks that doesn’t include any extraneous ideological riders,” said the statement.

The White House statement didn’t suggest the president wanted to forge a compromise between the elected GOP and Democratic legislators.

Obama will likely to use the public meeting with Obamacare recipients to push his no-compromise strategy.

Based on initial government-prepared reports, White House officials and Democrats claim that several million Americans will be able to buy cheaper, government-defined insurance via federally-run marketplaces.

However, free-market advocates say the government’s insurance prices are higher than current prices, especially for young people and married people, and that the quality, availability and proximity of government-approved medical services are likely to be inferior than the ones available today.

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