We live in some dramatic times, y’all. Your Mean Girls-style high school cliques have got nothing on our government. These people know how to fight in all the most underhanded ways. Blackmail, the silent treatment, it’s all there.
But what actually happened? What does it mean for our government to shut down? What happens when we stop paying back our debts? And how did we get here? Luckily, the internet and I have your back. Here are all the videos and links you need to understand Obamacare, the government shutdown, and what it all means for the ladies.
First of all, the deal with Obamacare. The Affordable Care Act has already been signed into law, and largely upheld by the Supreme Court. But opponents of the new law are trying to prevent it from being implemented even though it’s all ready to go. For all the nitty gritty details, check out this article from Think Progress. For a clear, simple explanation of what exactly is happening today, as new parts of the law take effect, I give you cartoons.
Some of the most controversial parts of the Affordable Care Act have to do with women’s health. The new law mandates that insurers cover preventative health services for women, including birth control. Republicans in Congress are still objecting over these provisions. Here is a great guide to women’s health services under Obamacare.
Democrats and Republicans in Congress have been fighting about budgets for years now. We’ve reached several crisis points, but none quite as dramatic as this. Because politicians were unable to reach an agreement, the government had to shut down. What does that mean? Basically, all non-essential government employees have stay home from work, potentially without back pay. Here’s what that means for you.
The government has shut down before, but the situation has never been quite this bad. This time, if Congress can’t agree on a budget, the Treasury will have to stop paying back its debts – that’s never happened before. This is how the government debt works. This video is about a year old, but it’s still a good basic explanation.
So, it’s pretty important to figure this out, right? How did Congress fail so hard? On top of many issues that Democrats and Republicans were already fighting over, some Republicans (particularly the Tea Party members) decided to hold the budget hostage. They did this by pressuring members of their party not to approve any spending bill unless it included a cut to Obamacare funding. This was easy in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, which passed several bills doing just that. But the Democrat-dominated Senate wasn’t having it. It’s not like Senate Republicans didn’t try though – Texas Senator Ted Cruz attempted to prevent vote on a spending bill that maintained funding for Obamacare by carrying out a 21-hour filibuster. He failed, but hey, he read Green Eggs and Ham along the way.
House Republicans wouldn’t pass a bill that didn’t defund Obamacare. The Senate rejected every bill from the House. So, after lots of back and forth, (you can read it all here if you want), they failed to meet the deadline and the government shut down. It was like:
So what happens now? Well, in some ways it’s anyone’s guess. The new health exchanges are still on track to roll out, but if you need anything from government offices, prepare for some slow services. And keep giving some side eye to Congress, because they need to get it together so we don’t have to default on our debt.
[Lead image via mypokcik/Shutterstock]