WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is weighing in this morning on the federal government shutdown caused after the U.S. House and Senate were unable to come to a compromise on government spending Monday night.
A sticking point has been House Republicans’ insistence on defunding or delaying implementation of the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare,” the federal government’s new healthcare reform law. Senate Democrats had asked repeatedly for a bill continuing government spending without amendments affecting healthcare or other items.
“House Republicans have shown that they will go to any length to try to block access to quality health care for tens of millions of Americans,” Task Force Executive Director Rea Carey said in a release. “The fact is, an overwhelming majority want the Affordable Care Act and believe that Republicans are acting like spoiled children throwing a tantrum. This tantrum could end up costing our nation billions of dollars and will negatively affect the most marginalized in our society.”
Carey said the healthcare law will ensure access to healthcare for millions of uninsured Americans, including LGBT people, many of whom will benefit from new restrictions against discriminatory coverage practices.
“Health care delayed is health care denied,” Carey said. “And health care denied is putting lives in jeopardy.”
Carey added, “It’s time for Congress to stop playing games with our healthcare and the economy. This country needs to see real progress on the budget, immigration reform, employment nondiscrimination and many other vital issues.”
“We don’t have time to sit around while they read Green Eggs and Ham and wreak havoc on our economy,” Carey said, referring to U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz’s recent 21-hour speech against Obamacare.