I'm trying to keep up with all of the news regarding the government shutdown, but it's been somewhat difficult for me to understand. News stories use a lot of federal vocabulary and I'm still processing some of the headlines before I can even move into the content. "The Government Shutdown" and "Washington Braces for Prolonged Government Shutdown" -- how can that even be possible? The events are impacting our nation at an alarming extent so it was important for me to translate the news and determine how I would be professionally and personally impacted. Here's what I've figured out so far:
The Affordable Care Act was passed in 2009 by Congress. It was signed into law on March 23, 2010. On June 28, 2012, the Supreme Court decided to uphold the law. Even researching just those dates was news to me. I didn't realize the ACA had become a law, and I didn't realize it happened nearly three-and-a-half years ago! Fast forward to last week: On Sept. 20, Republicans voted to deny money for the health law. Several votes on various funding, tax repeals, and modifications to the healthcare law occurred over the next few days. On Oct. 1, the government's new fiscal year began but with no spending legislation in place, partial federal shutdown commenced. Oct. 1 was also the planned effective date for individuals and small business to buy health benefit plans in an "insurance marketplace."
In short, per The Washington Post: "There are wide swaths of the federal government that need to be funded each year in order to operate. If Congress can't agree on how to fund them, they have to close down. And, right now, Congress can't agree on how to fund them."
It's amazing to me how these events have extended far beyond the boundaries of the healthcare law. Many national parks, historic sites and museums are closed, while social security applications are delayed due to the lack of funding and therefore, staffing. I'm probably not the most enthusiastic supporter of the government or federal news, but I'm certainly learning not to take their role for granted.
Has there ever been a major strike among physical therapists? Have you ever been restricted from work like many federal employees are currently experiencing? What do you think? Are you surprised at how government parties disagreeing over a healthcare law has developed into a federal shutdown?