‘Obamacare’ fight plays out in CLT before marketplace opens

‘Obamacare’ fight plays out in CLT before marketplace opens

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by BEN THOMPSON / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Follow: @BenTNews | Email

WCNC.com

Posted on September 4, 2013 at 5:41 PM

Updated Monday, Sep 16 at 10:19 AM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Weeks before a major part of the Affordable Care Act takes effect, the fight to stop it from becoming law played out in Charlotte Wednesday.

Starting October 1, a marketplace at www.healthcare.gov will offer open enrollment for everyone to shop for insurance among bidding insurance companies.

On Wednesday, several Tea Party groups traveling around the country stopped in Charlotte, hoping to put pressure on federal lawmakers, specifically their fellow Republicans.

Senator Richard Burr and Congressman Robert Pittenger have been steadfastly against “Obamacare”, voting against it and voting for dozens of repeals.  But like many Republicans across the country, they’ve rejected calls to shut down the government over the issue.

“In 2010, they all swore to put an end to this.  So the question is, ‘where are they now,’” asked Brent Bozell, co-founder of ForAmerica and the Exempt America Tour.

Bozell and other conservative groups are hoping that enough Republicans will step in before the marketplace opens in a few weeks.  Stripping the law of its funding, he says, is the most direct approach.

“If you fund it, then you own it.  You don't blame the Democrats anymore,” he said.

Instead, Pittenger said weeks ago he’d prefer to take a more targeted approach.

“While I support efforts to defund Obamacare, the political reality is that goal is not currently achievable.  Senator Harry Reid would never let it pass the Senate, and President Obama would never sign it into law.  A better option is to push for common-sense Medicare reform, or approval of the Keystone pipeline, in exchange for raising the debt ceiling.  Let’s get something done,” Pittenger stated in a press release.

Another group organized in uptown just hours after the Tea Party gathering Wednesday.  Members were supporting the Affordable Care Act.

“I think what we need to do, is for people to have the opportunity to benefit and experience Obamacare, and they'll see the benefits from it,” said Col. Ben Allen, Retired from the US Army Reserves.

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