Transcript for Obama Refuses to Negotiate With GOP's 'Reckless Demands'
This is an ABC news. The government -- Hello I'm George Stephanopoulos in New York were coming on the air right now because President Obama is about to speak in the Rose Garden his first public comments. Since the federal government ran out of money and shut down last night. You see on the screen right there it's been almost thirteen hours since a government -- no deal yet in sight for getting it open again. More than two million federal employees affected 800000 furloughed. One point three million so called essential workers on post without -- national parks other federal facilities have shut down. -- for -- at least one extraordinary scene in Washington just moments ago a group of World War II veterans from Mississippi. Demanding to -- -- into the World War II memorial that was captured by Leo Shane of stars and stripes and others. They were led in. By by the guards there they didn't have to break through any barriers but it was pretty extraordinary owner John Karl the White House right now of course the president coming out. To speak on the opening. These health care exchanges where Americans can buy health insurance because as Affordable Care Act which is right at the heart of the -- And George this will be a double barreled message from the president on one hand saying it is wrong to shut down the government. On the other hand saying it is doubly wrong to shut down than the government in the name of -- the health care law and he's gonna be with people leap into the -- he stepped out by the podium who he says have already been benefiting from the health care law and who would lose their health coverage. If the law is repealed -- -- funded. So it starts to -- and Affordable Care Act up and running just as the government. Shuts down and here comes a president into the Rose Garden right now with former health and human services secretary Kathleen some -- The. Good morning everybody and -- midnight last night. -- -- -- -- -- -- Good morning her but -- At midnight last night for the first time in seventeen years. Republicans in congress chose to shut down the federal government. I'd be more specific. One faction. Of one party. In one house of congress. In one branch of government. Shut down major parts of the cover. All because they did like one wall. This Republican shut down did not have to happen. But I want every American. Understand why it did happen. Republicans in the House of Representatives refused to fund the government. Unless we. They've shut down the government over an ideological crusade to deny affordable health insurance to millions of Americans. In other words they demanded ransom just for doing their job. And many representatives. Including an increasing number of Republicans have made it clear that had they've been allowed. By speaker Boehner to take a simple up or down vote. On keeping the government open -- -- partisan strings attached. Enough votes from both parties would have kept. The American people's government open and operate. We may not know the full impact of this Republican shut down for some time there will depend on how long it lasts but we -- know a couple of facts. We know that the last time Republicans shut down the government in 1996. In -- -- our economy. And unlike 1996 our economy still recovering from the worst recession in generations. We know that certain services and benefits that America's seniors and veterans and business owners depend on. Must be put on hold. Certain offices along with every national park and monument must be close. And while last night I signed legislation to make sure -- one point four million active duty military are paid through the shut down. Hundreds of thousands of civilian workers. Many still on the job. Many forced to stay home. Are being paid. Even if their families to support and local businesses the -- lisle. And we know about the longer the shutdown continues to worsen the effects will be. More families will be hurt. More businesses will be heart. So once again I urge. House Republicans to reopen the government. Restart the services Americans depend -- and allow the public servants who have been sent home to return to work. -- only gonna happen when Republicans realize they don't get to hold the entire economy hostage. Over ideological demands. As I've said repeatedly I am prepared to work with Democrats and Republicans to do the things we need to do to grow the economy and create jobs and get our fiscal house in order over the long run. Although I should add the shutdown isn't about deficits or spending or budgets. After all our deficits are falling of the fastest pace in fifty years. We've cut them in half since I took office. In fact many of the demands. The Republicans are now making would actually raise our deficits. Smelled a shutdown is not about deficits it's not about budgets the shutdown is about. Rolling back our efforts to provide health insurance to folks who don't have it. It's all about rolling back before -- care. This more than anything else seems to be what the Republican Party stands for these days. I know it -- the one party would make keeping people uninsured the centerpiece of their agenda. But that apparently is what -- -- And of course what stranger still is that shutting down our government. Doesn't accomplish their stated goal. Affordable Care Act is -- -- passed the house to pass the senate the Supreme Court ruled constitutional. It was a central issue in last year's election it is settled. And it is here to -- And because of its funding sources it's not impacted by a government shutdown. And these Americans are here -- me today because. Even though the government has closed a big part of the Affordable Care Act is now open for business. And for them and millions like them this is a historic day for good reason. It's been a long time come. But today Americans who have been forced to go without insurance. Can now visit health -- dot gov and and role in affordable new plans that offer quality coverage that starts today. And people have six months to sign up. So over the next six months people are gonna have the opportunity many times in many cases for the first time in their lives. To get affordable coverage that they desperately need. Now of course if you're one of -- 85% of Americans who already have health insurance you don't need to do a thing you're already benefiting from new. Benefits and protections. That have been in place for some time under this law. But for the 15% of Americans who don't have health insurance. This opportunity. Is like changing. Let me just tell folks a few stories that are represented here today. Few years ago Amanda Barrett left her job in New York to take care for parents and for awhile -- temporary insurance that covered her multiple sclerosis. When -- expired many insurers want to cover because were amassed. She ended up paying 12100 dollars a month that's nowhere -- fort. Starting today she can get covered for much less. Because today's new plan can't use your medical history to charge you more than anybody else. Sky high premiums once forced Nancy -- to. Choose between paying rent or paying for health insurance she's been uninsured ever cents. She pays all of her medical bills out of pocket put some -- -- credit card making them even harder to -- Nancy says they talk about those who fall through the cracks I fell through the cracks ten years ago and I've been stuck -- percents well starting today Nancy can get covered just like everybody else. For -- Edwards was laid off from her job a year ago today six months ago she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. She could afford insurance on the individual market so she hasn't received treatment yet. Her daughter roommates -- student of the universe him out Maryland is considering dropping out. Of school to help pay her mom's bills. -- starting today thanks to the Affordable Care Act for -- can get covered. Without forcing her daughter to give up on her dreams. So these stories. Hard working Americans sound familiar to you well starting today you and your friends and your family your coworkers. Can get covered -- Just visit health care dot -- -- -- you can compare insurance plans side by side the same way -- shopper plane ticket on kayak for TV on Amazon. Yet -- some basic information you'll be presented -- -- of quality affordable plans. That are available in your area with clear descriptions of what each plan covers and what it will cost. You'll find more choices more competition and in many cases lower prices most uninsured Americans will find the -- get covered. For a hundred dollars or -- You go -- take my word for go on the web -- healthcare dot gov check it out for yourself. And then show what your family -- France. And help them get covered just like mayors and churches and community groups and companies are already fanning out to do across the country. And there is a hot -- where you can apply over the phone. And get help with the application. -- just get questions -- you have answered by real people in a 150 different languages. Let me give you that number the numbers 18031825961803182596. Check out health -- dot gov. Call that number of -- your family and friends how to use it. And we can get America -- once and for also that the struggles that these folks have gone through and millions around the country -- gone through. Four years. Finally get addressed. Let me just remind people why I think this is so important. Artist a striking statistic yesterday if you get cancer. You're 70%. More likely to live another five years if you have insurance than if you don't. Think about that that that is what it means to have health insurance. Set aside the issues of security and and finances and how -- impacted by that the stress involved in not knowing whether or not. You're gonna have health care this is life -- death stuff. Tens of thousands of Americans die each year just because they don't have health insurance. Millions more live with the fear that they'll go broke if they get sick. And today we begin to free. Millions of our fellow Americans from that field. Already millions of young adults have been able to stay on their parents' plans until 826. Millions of seniors already have gotten a discount on their prescription medicines. Already millions of families of actually receive rebates from insurance companies have been spent enough on their health care. This law means more choice more competition lower costs for millions of Americans. And this law doesn't just mean economic security for our families it means we're finally addressing the biggest drivers of our long term deficits. And means a stronger economy. Remember most Republicans. Have made a whole bunch of protections about this law that haven't come through there. -- no death panels. Call seven skyrocketed -- growing of the slowest rate in fifty years. The last three years since I signed the Affordable Care Act in the law -- the three slowest rates of health spending growth. On record. And contrary to Republican claims -- -- hasn't destroyed our economy. -- the past three and a half years our business of -- seven and a half. Million new jobs just today we learned -- our manufacturers are growing at the fastest rate in two and a half years. They have factored an Affordable Care Act they don't think it's problem. What's weighing on the economy is not be Affordable Care Act but the constant series of crises. And the unwillingness. To pass a reasonable budget by a faction of the Republican Party. -- like every new law every new product rollout they're going to be some glitches in the -- a process. Along the way that we won't fix. I've been saying this from the start for example. We found out that there have been times this morning -- the site's been running Morse slowly than it normally well. The reason is because more than one million people visited health -- dot gov before 7 in the morning. To put that in context there were five times more users in the marketplace this morning. Men have ever been on Medicare dot gov at one time. That gives you a sense of how important this is to millions of Americans around the country. That's a good thing. And we're going to be eight speeding things up in the next few hours to handle all this demand. That exceeds anything. That we expect. Consider the just a couple of weeks ago apple rolled out new mobile operating system. And within. Days they found a glitch so they fixed it. I don't remember anybody suggesting apple should stop selling iphones -- rapids. Or threatening to shut down the company -- and so now we do things in America. We don't actively root for failure we get to work we make things happen we make a better. We keep don't. So when -- -- all work with anybody who's got a serious idea to make -- Affordable Care -- work better -- said that repeatedly. But as long as I am president I will not give in to reckless demands by some in the Republican Party. To deny affordable health insurance to millions of hardworking Americans. -- -- Republicans in congress to know these are the Americans you'd hurt. If were if you were allowed to dismantle this law. Americans like Amanda Nancy -- remains. Who now finally had the opportunity for basic security and peace of mind of health -- just like everybody else including members -- congress. The notion that you'd you'd make. A condition for reopening the government that. I make sure these folks don't have health care. Doesn't make any sense. It -- make any sense. Let me make one closing point. This Republican shut down threatens our economy at a time when millions of Americans are still looking for work and businesses are starting gets -- traction. So the timing has not good. Of course a lot of the Republicans. In the house ran for office two years -- promising to shut down the government and so apparently they've now gotten their wish. But as I've said before the irony -- the house Republicans have to contend with his. They shut down a whole bunch parts of the government but be Affordable Care Act is still open for business. And this may be why you've got many Republican governors and senators and even a growing number of reasonable. Republican congressmen who -- telling the extreme right of their party to knock it off. Pass a budget. Move on. And I want to underscore the fact that congress doesn't just have to end this shut down and reopen the government. Congress generally has to stop governing by crisis. They have to break this habit. It is a drag on the economy. It is not worthy. Of this country. For example one of the most important things congress has to do in the next couple weeks. Is to raise what's called the debt -- It's important understand what this service. This is a routine vote congress is taking this vote. 45 times to raise the debt -- since Ronald Reagan took office it does not cost taxpayers a single dime it does not grow our deficits by a single dime. It does not authorize -- came -- to spend any new money what so ever. All it does is authorize the treasury to pay the bills. On what congress has already spent. Think about that. If you. By a car and you've got a car -- You do not save money by not paying your car note. You're just a deadbeat. If you buy a house. You don't save money by not authorizing. Yourself. To pay the mortgage. It is going to be foreclosed on her home. That's what this is about. It is routine. It is what they're supposed to do this is not a concession to me it is not some demand that's unreasonable that I'm making this is what. Congress -- -- to do as a routine matter. And they shouldn't wait until the last minute to do what the last time Republicans even threaten this course of action many of you remember back in 2000 -- Our economy staggered. Our credit rating was downgraded for the first time. If they go through whether this time and force the United States to default on its obligations for the first time in history. It be far more dangerous than a government shutdown as bad as they shut down as it would be an economic shot -- So I'll speak more on this in the coming days but. Let me repeat. I will not negotiate over congress' responsibility. To pay bills it's already racked up. And -- don't allow anybody to drag the good name of the United States of America. Through the mud just to -- they settled election or extract ideological demands. Nobody gets to hurt our economy and millions -- hardworking families. Former law you don't like. The whole bunch of things that I'd like to see passed through congress that the house Republicans haven't. Passed yet. I'm not out there saying well I'm not I'm gonna let America default. Unless congress does -- and that they don't wanna -- It's not how. Adults operate. Certainly that's not our government should operate. And that's true whether there is a Democrat -- in this. In this office. Or Republican in this office. The matter was -- democratic. House of Representatives are Republican controlled house representatives. There's certain rules that everybody abides by because we don't want to hurt. Other people just because we have a political disagree. So my -- My basic message to congress is best pass a budget. And the government shut -- Pay your bills. Prevent an economic shut down. Don't wait don't delay. Don't put our economy or people through this any longer. -- more than -- to work with them on all kinds of issues. I want to get back to work. On the things that the American people sent us their work on creating new jobs new growth new security firm middle class. We're better than this. Certainly American people are a lot better in this. And I believe that what we've accomplished for Amanda and Nancy and for -- And tens of millions. Of their fellow citizens on this day proves. That. Even when the odds are long and the obstacles are many. We are and always will be. A country that can do great things to -- Thank you very much -- by god bless you thank you all of you for the great work -- you're doing. And thank you Kathleen Sebelius for the outstanding work that she's going. Making sure that millions of Americans can get health insurance thank you Mr. President you won't negotiate how can you get a solution. Can bring it into the city. We'll talk to Russia later stopped at present around ignoring questions for our own Jonathan Karl Wright -- ceramic releases -- helped by the Affordable Care Act. His message on that that the Affordable Care Act obamacare is here to stay. And they congress should do its job pay our bills and open up the government gonna -- wanted to Jon -- just asking. That question right there you saw the president you asked if he's -- negotiate no sign of that right now. Not at all I heard two things loud and clear her one thing is -- the shutdown is the republicans' fault entirely in fact he called it the Republican shut down a match you'll be hearing that phrase a lot going forward. And he made it clear that he's not ready to negotiate on this he compared it to being asked to be paid a ransom for congress doing your job and this White House is non interest in paying ransom. As for the republics in congress tweet now from Republican leader in the house Eric Cantor showing he and other -- sitting in a conference room. -- empty chairs for the Democrats right now that our -- -- felony. On Capitol Hill so the Republicans say they're ready to negotiate no -- the Democrats. Are gonna do that so. How long does this shut down last. Well George that is the question and the -- answer is as long as Republicans stick together the House Republican Caucus is meeting behind floors but closed doors right now. And the key question is how long -- -- to gather. Right now -- canvas of them -- them largely holding fast. But a couple cracks emerging including. A congressman from Virginia military district Scott -- he says enough is enough it's time to move on with this so we're keeping an eye on that but as of now towards their holding fast. And there's no end in -- Pictures Sony thanks for much -- much more on this tonight -- on world news with Diane sir our entire team on this all day long -- abcnews.com. Under seven ounce in New York have a good -- Has been a special -- From ABC.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.