Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs is socially active, without seeming to be specifically politically vocal. Yet, while announcing his $250,000 donation to the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) last week, he spoke in detail about the government shutdown.
“I think that it’s a shame, because it’s really a personal thing,” Combs told theGrio at the Times Center last Thursday. He was waiting in a private area to mentor youths participating in the NFTE 2013 National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge, at which his gift would be presented.
“It’s clearly a personal attack on the president,” he continued. “I think that we live in a place where everybody should get health care. Those guys are still getting paid. It’s not affecting them. I think that it’s unfair,” the mogul continued regarding the members of Congress causing the government halt.
Diddy is not alone in his beliefs. Recent numbers show that everyone is angry at both parties for failing to reach a budget agreement in time to fund the federal government.
Time.com reports that, “63 percent of those questioned said they were angry at Republicans,” in a new poll, “with 57 percent also angry at Democrats, and 53 percent unhappy with President Obama. Nearly half of those surveyed said the shutdown has caused major problems.”
Even rapper Nelly has joined in on the conversation. “I’m trying to campaign since the government ain’t working, we shouldn’t have to pay taxes,” he said in an interview with VH1.
Yet for Diddy, the reasons for opposing the shutdown are much more personal. His family has been impacted by the pressures that can result from not having health care when you really need it. Republican leaders have stated explicitly that refusing to approve a new budget is an attempt to block the Affordable Care Act (ACA) from going into effect, which guarantees health care for all Americans.
“Everybody deserves health care,” Diddy told theGrio. “You may not feel that way until you get affected by it. I’ve had two family members have cancer. I’ve had to be there to help them, and they’ve had to ask me for help. They’ve had to ask me for help, and tell me they had cancer at the same time. It’s just a little bit too much, you know? If you’re sick, you want to be taken care of. We live in America. I think that the Republicans and Democrats should get along and put the people before themselves.”
Despite attempts to prevent the ACA from going into effect, the new program is now up and running. People nationwide are now able to sign up for coverage at healthcare.gov. Enrollment numbers will be available in November, according to the White House.
Follow Alexis Garrett Stodghill on Twitter at @lexisb.