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Obamacare launch poised to reach millions despite shutdown drama

Reuters, October 1, 2013
Millions of Americans will learn on Tuesday what President Barack Obama's landmark healthcare law actually means for them, as the administration opens new insurance marketplaces in 50 states despite the government shutdown. The launch marks a milestone for Obama's signature domestic policy achievement, which aims to provide subsidized healthcare to millions of the uninsured, the most ambitious U.S. social program since Medicare was introduced in the 1960s. The marketplaces, or exchanges, require health plans to provide a broad range of essential benefits that were not necessarily part of individual policies in the past, including mental health services, birth control and preventive care.