U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks about the launch of the Affordable Care Act's health insurance marketplaces and the first federal government shutdown in 17 years in the Rose Garden of the White House October 1, 2013 in Washington, DC. House Republicans and Senate Democrats continue to volley legislation back and forth as they battle over a budget to keep the government running and delaying or defunding 'Obamacare.' (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama is hailing a "historic day" for uninsured Americans who now can purchase health care coverage through new insurance exchanges.
He says the opportunity is life-changing for those who could not get access to health care before Tuesday's launch of the exchanges.
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The president spoke in the White House Rose Garden Tuesday alongside a group of citizens who plan to purchase insurance through the system.
His message to Americans is that the health care exchanges will not shut down since they are previously funded. Much of federal government has been shuttered because Congress hasn't passed a budget bill.
Obama accused Republicans of making the concept of keeping people uninsured "the centerpiece of their agenda."