President Barack Obama blasted the GOP for a “Republican shutdown” and said it should “move on” from its insistence on dismantling Obamacare.
In a Rose Garden statement flanked by people who will benefit from the Affordable Care Act, the president said that Republicans are hurting the economy.
“This shutdown isn’t about deficits or spending or budgets,” he said. Instead, it’s a fruitless effort to roll back the health care law, he argued.
Obama said that it is “strange” that keeping people from getting health insurance has become “the centerpiece of their agenda.”
But he said that he would not give in to GOP demands.
He noted that if you get cancer, you are 70 percent more likely to live five years if you have insurance.
“This is life or death,” he said.
And he said that Republican attacks on his law have been proved false.
“Contrary to Republican claims, this law hasn’t destroyed our economy,” he said.
He likened glitches with the rollout to Apple having glitches with the iPhone rollout, but he said no one suggests they stop selling iPhones.
And he appealed repeatedly to Republicans to reopen the government, saying the votes were there on the House floor if Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, allowed a vote on the Senate’s bill.
“We know that the longer this shutdown continues, the worse the effects will be,” he said.
Obama also pivoted to the debt limit debate, saying that while he will talk more about that in coming days, failure to raise the debt ceiling would be “far more dangerous than a government shutdown. ... It would be an economic shutdown.”
Still, he reiterated his vow not to negotiate over the debt ceiling, noting the damage that was done in 2011 when the nation came to the brink of a default.