Read all posts from October 2013

  • Congress has two jobs to do: pass a budget and pay its bills. Yesterday, Congress failed to fulfill its responsibility to pass a budget and as a result, much of the Federal government will shut down.

    Below, find an overview of some of the government services and operations that will be impacted until Congress passes a budget to fund them again. For detailed information about US government operations, you can learn more at

    • Vital services that ensure seniors and young children have access to healthy food and meals may not have sufficient Federal funds to serve all beneficiaries in an extended lapse.
    • Call centers, hotlines and regional offices that help veterans understand their benefits will close to the public.
    • And, veterans’ compensation, pension, education and other benefits could be cut off in the case of an extended shutdown.
    • Every one of America’s national parks and monuments, from Yosemite to the Smithsonian to the Statue of Liberty, will be immediately closed.
    • New applications for small business loans and loan guarantees will be immediately halted.
    • Research into life-threatening diseases and other areas will stop and new patients won’t be accepted into clinical trials at the National Institutes of Health.
    • Work to protect consumers, ranging from child product safety to financial security to the safety of hazardous waste facilities, will cease. The EPA will halt non-essential inspections of chemical facilities and drinking water systems.
    • Permits and reviews for planned energy and transportations projects will stop, preventing companies from working on these projects.
    • Loans to rural communities will be halted.
    • Hundreds of thousands of Federal employees including many charged with protecting us from terrorist threats, defending our borders, inspecting our food, and keeping our skies safe will work without pay until the shutdown ends.
    • Hundreds of thousands of additional Federal workers will be immediately and indefinitely furloughed without pay.

    The following services that will continue during the government shut down:

    • Social security beneficiaries will continue receiving checks.
    • The U.S. Postal Service will keep delivering mail.
    • Active military will continue serving.
    • Air traffic controllers, prison guards and border patrol agents will remain on the job.
    • NASA Mission Control will continue supporting astronauts serving on the Space Station.

    For more information:


  • Today, President Obama sent a letter to all federal employees, thanking them for the work they do everyday and pledging to do everything in his power to reopen the government as soon as possible. Read the full letter here or below:

  • Ed. Note: This is cross-posted from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. You can see the original post here.

    Today the Health Insurance Marketplace opened for business, creating a new and better way for Americans to shop for insurance. At the Marketplace, you can compare options, see if you qualify for lower costs, and select coverage that will begin as soon as January 1, 2014. You can compare private plans and choose coverage that fit your needs and budget.

    Visit to shop for options today.

    Over the next two weeks, we are going to be highlighting the stories of individual Americans who will benefit from the law.

    Like Malik. Malik is an uninsured bartender in Philadelphia. He hurt his leg pretty badly and worked through the pain because he didn’t have insurance and couldn’t afford to see a doctor. He is young and healthy, and now he knows he’s not invincible. No one should have to work through an injury, and Malik is looking forward to finding affordable coverage through the Marketplace.

    See Malik’s story here.

    To get started, finding a health plan that fits your budget, visit or call 1-800-318-2596 (TTY 1-855-889-4325) to get started. To make the process even easier, every member of our call center staff has been trained to help answer your questions about applying. And if you need extra help, you can click here to find out if there is a real person right in your community to help.

    Today marks an important step in fullfilling the promise of quality, affordable health insurance for millions of hard-working Americans. We are going to feature just a few of them. Help us share their story and share your own.

    Click here to read the stories.