WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Tuesday urged House Republicans to “reopen the government,” saying they “don’t get to hold the entire economy hostage over ideological demands” of defunding or dismantling Obamacare.
Only thirteen hours into the first government shutdown in 17 years, President Obama warned the economy could suffer if Republicans in Congress fail to pass a new budget or extend the current one.
“The longer this shutdown continues, the worse the effects will be,” Obama said. “More families will be hurt. More businesses will be harmed.”
During his speech, Obama called the House Republicans’ demands to delay or postpone the Affordable Care Act an “ideological crusade.” He continued by saying “they demanded ransom just for doing their job.”
Several states have experienced online glitches as residents on Tuesday tried to enroll in health care coverage in the Affordable Care Act insurance exchanges — the centerpiece of Obama’s landmark legislation.
The Department of Health and Human Services issued a statement Tuesday morning, saying, “We have built a dynamic system and are prepared to make adjustments as needed and improve the consumer experience.”
According Obama, more than one million people visited healthcare.gov before 7 a.m. Several states have experienced issues, but he compared the glitches to iOS 7.
“I don’t remember anybody suggesting Apple should stop selling iPhones or iPads,” Obama said.