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


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)

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)

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)

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)

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

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

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)

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)

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.

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)

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)

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)

Reminder: You can now subscribe to ipl2’s newsletter and weekly blog posts via email as well as RSS. The “Email Subscription” feature appears prominently in the upper left page on the ipl2′s News and Information WordPress blog. Subscription is free and open to all!


In the News: Gadgets, Tools and Apps

Technology can be a source of entertainment as well as a tool which can be used to accomplish a variety of tasks.  The sheer volume of technology making an appearance on a daily basis can make trying to find the latest Apps, Gadgets or the best Web Tool an overwhelming task.  To help in this endeavor we have come up with a list of sites that should help you find the best match for the task.

New resources that will be added to the ipl2 are noted NEW! All other resources are already listed in the ipl2 collection.

NEW! Pocket-lint
Pocket-lint features app news and reviews for the iPhone and Android devices, as well as photos, and video.  If you are looking for all the latest gossip, info, expert reviews, and everything you need to know, this is the place to be.  Pocket-lint’s home page also, features a special section with the App of the Day, the latest technology reviews and news making it unnecessary for you to navigate through countless links to find the latest information.

NEW! + 101 Best Android Apps
Best Android Apps is a gallery for the best Android phone applications.  Have you ever been out and about walking and searching for a free Wi-Fi network? Well this site offers Apps that can help you.  If you decide going organic is the way for you, these sites will help you find recipes, choose products and even grow your own organic vegetables.

The ipl2 Special Mobile Apps Collection
The ipl2 has also created a Special Mobile Apps Collection to help direct all its patrons to free mobile applications.  Knowing that the task of sorting through the thousands of applications can be daunting the ipl2 has endeavored to solve the problem by categorizing free mobile apps by subject and mobile technology platform.   The collection covers a variety of free iPhone and Android apps from resources such as newspapers, weather internet sites, television, magazines and many other media sources.

Mashable  (find it on the ipl2 collection)
Mashable gives you the latest info on Web 2.0 and social media. With Mashable’s app, you can browse channels, share, save, and comment on articles you find.

Listio  (find it on the ipl2 collection)
Part blog, part directory, Listio provides access to a vast number of Web 2.0 technologies currently available on the Web and allows users to review and rate them. Check it out, but be prepared to be sucked in.

Engadget  (find it on the ipl2 collection)
Engadget provides news and reviews on the latest gadgets and technology, from phones to televisions to gaming, and more.

Thanks for your continued support of ipl2. We hope these resources help satisfy any questions you may have about gadgets, tools and apps. For more information, search ipl2 for Gadgets or Apps.

Reminder: You can now subscribe to ipl2’s newsletter and weekly blog posts via email as well as RSS. The “Email Subscription” feature appears prominently in the upper lefthand side of the page on the ipl2′s News and Information WordPress blog. Subscription is free and open to all!