The Link: Everything you need to know about the Shutdown and the Affordable Care Act

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Flags at the Washington Monument in DC

From the recent 16 day shutdown of the federal government and the previous shutdown of 1995, to the launching of the new Affordable Care Act (ACA), to the management of programs such as Women, Infants & Children (WIC) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the decisions and initiatives of the U.S. Federal government have great influence on the daily lives of regular citizens.  For information on U.S federal government programs that impact the daily life of American citizens, take a look at the A-Z Index of U.S. Government Departments and Agencies.

A-Z Index of U.S. Government Departments and Agencies (find it on the ipl2)
http://www.usa.gov/directory/federal/index.shtml

Shutdown:
The ipl2 has resources to explore if you would like more information about the recent and previous federal government shutdowns and how they affected people across the country.

66 questions and answers about the government shutdown (Find it on the ipl2)
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2013/09/29/questions-and-answers-about-the-shutdown/2888419/

This informative video and article from USA Today discusses what led to the recent government shutdown, how the conflict was perpetuated, and what the effects of the closure were on federal programs, the economy, citizens, and the country.

Remarks by the President on the Reopening of the Government (find it on the ipl2)
http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/10/17/remarks-president-reopening-government

This is the complete transcript of President Barack Obama’s remarks on the signing of legislation to reopen the U.S. federal government on October 17th, 2013. He describes the financial and political costs of the recent shutdown and discusses the future.

The Clinton-Gingrich 1995 shutdown (find it on ipl2)
http://tv.msnbc.com/2013/09/30/watch-the-clinton-gingrich-1995-shutdown/

The U.S. government has shut down before. MSNBC takes viewers back in time with a newscast from 1995 on the government shutdown, with Tom Brokaw, Brian Williams and Robert Hager reporting.  This 4 minute video gives viewers an idea of the Republican and Democratic perspectives.

Affordable Care Act AKA Obamacare:
The Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, is a brand new federal program that impacts U.S. citizens across the nation. With the new website going live in October there have been a lot of questions about what this means for people in the United States. Check out the ipl2 resources below to find out how the Affordable Care Act affects you and your family and friends.

NEW! Health Insurance Basics
https://www.healthcare.gov/health-insurance-basics/

This useful page on the federal healthcare website provides many frequently asked questions concerning the Affordable Care Act and related issues such as exemptions and coverage. Each question gives a short answer and provides a link to a longer explanation.

NEW! US Health Policy Gateway: PPACA
http://ushealthpolicygateway.com/vii-key-policy-issues-regulation-and-reform/p-health-reform/patient-protection-and-affordable-care-act-ppaca/

This site is compiled by the Center for Health Policy & Inequalities Research, which is headed up by researchers at Duke University. The Affordable Care Act is broken down into sections, which provide explanations as well as links to other sites where information can be found.

Health Care Reform Pros and Cons (find it on the ipl2)
http://healthcarereform.procon.org/

The ProCon website provides a section with a variety of statements and sources debating the major issues of the Affordable Care Act. Their goal is to provide a balanced perspective showing the pros and cons using quotes and information from both sides of the issue.

Kaiser Family Foundation ACA Consumer Resources (find it on the ipl2)
http://kff.org/aca-consumer-resources/

The Kaiser Family Foundation is a well-respected non-profit that has been providing healthcare information for over 50 years. This section of their site contains videos as well as FAQs, infographics, and other tools to try to make the Affordable Care Act understandable to everyone.

WIC & SNAP:
The U.S. federal government oversees many programs that are intended to support and improve the lives of U.S. citizens. Two of these programs are Women, Infants & Children (WIC) and Supplemental Nutrition Program (SNAP), which are designed to help meet the nutritional, health and housing needs of low-income families. Though you can get more information about WIC and SNAP resources from your state and local governments’ websites, here are some links to the national organizations.

Women Infants & Children (WIC) (find it on the ipl2)
http://www.fns.usda.gov/wic

Women Infants & Children (WIC) is a supplemental nutrition and education program that is funded through federal grants to states. It supports low-income mothers and their children through age five. This site describes the program and provides information on accessing individual state programs.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) United States Department of Agriculture (find it on the ipl2)
http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a government program that helps low income families in the U.S. pay for food based on the number of people who live in the household and the household income. The SNAP program has come under great scrutiny in recent months and was considered vulnerable during the shutdown.

For a comprehensive look at the U.S. federal government’s foundational documents as well as its roles and agencies, take a look at the United States Government Manual.

United States Government Manual (Find it in the ipl2)
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/browse/collection.action?collectionCode=GOVMAN

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