A group of about 25 protestors gathered Friday to tell the the Tea Party, "Enough already."
Local residents Eleanor Cooper and Franklin McCallie were having coffee this week and talking about all the people impacted by the shutdown of the federal government, they said.
And they decided they had to do something about it.
Cooper and McCallie, along with John Hays, gathered people downtown outside the Joel W. Solomon Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse as a call to action.
They want other people to demand the Tea Party stop holding the "government hostage" because they don't like the Affordable Care Act, which is the main issue that's caused the dispute that led to the shutdown.
"You can not hold the government hostage over a program that has been approved by Congress," Hays said
The Constitution outlines one key duty for members of Congress—to pass bills that fund the government.
Members of Congress failed to reach an agreement about the federal budget and as a result about 800,000 federal workers have been furloughed.
House Republicans don't want a new spending bill to include funding for the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Senate Democrats insist that the law be upheld.
The Affordable Care Act will provide health care coverage to 30 million people.
It includes provisions such as preventing insurers to deny benefits based on pre-existing conditions. It allows people to stay on their parents' insurance until age 26. It requires coverage to include a free annual wellness visit, among an array of other benefits.
Last summer, the Supreme Court ruled that the core of the health care reform act was constitutional.
Some of the act's requirements have already been implemented, and others will continue to be rolled out in coming years.
Under the act, exchanges are being created, which will allow individuals and small business owners to shop for insurance coverage via Internet-based marketplaces.
Those marketplaces opened Oct. 1 for a six-month enrollment period. Coverage begins as early as Jan. 1, 2014.
The Affordable Care Act requires nearly everyone to have some sort of health care insurance, and it must meet the minimum requirements under the law.
But consumers are exempt from having to purchase health care coverage if the lowest health care option available costs more than 8 percent of a person's household income, according to NBC News.
McCallie and Hays said the members of the Tea Party, which some people distinguish from the Republican party, have conspired to shut down the government because they didn't get their way with the Affordable Care Act.
They point to the letter that North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows sent in August that suggested Republicans tie the derailing of Obamacare to the budget process.
Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, has said that the Affordable Care Act will cost young people more and force them to get coverage.
Alexander said recently that the Affordable Care Act will mean that some Tennesseans will have to pay more for health insurance. He said the report contains "limited information" and that some people will have fewer choices under the Affordable Care Act.
Click here to see the premiums Alexander referenced.
Alexander said that a 27-year-old man in Memphis can currently buy a plan for as low as $41 a month. On the exchange, the lowest state average is $119 a month—a 190 percent increase.
But the plan that costs $41 a month from BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee isn't comparable to the coverage offered through the exchanges, David Yoder, co-founder of American Exchange, said.
American Exchange is a new local company whose leaders are helping residents nationwide connect with health insurance through marketplaces that will be open in October.
The Affordable Care Act requires a minimum level of coverage. So the person paying $41 a month will likely have to go through the exchanges because they aren't currently covered to the extent required by the new law.
A spokesman for Alexander said the Affordable Care Act is like "telling a car buyer she has to pay extra for leather seats and a sunroof when all she needs is a basic car to get to work."
But others argue that requiring nearly everyone to have coverage will help cut down on health care costs in the long run.
Despite Republican opposition to the Affordable Care Act, politicians in both parties have supported similar plans historically. For example, Romney signed a Massachusetts program into law in 2006 that's similiar to the Affordable Care Act, according to the Christian Science Monitor.
And The New Yorker reported that many conservatives supported Romney's plan.
And, by some accounts, an individual mandate—which is the requirement that most people get minimum coverage—is originally a Republican idea. Click here to read more about that.
The local protestors said Friday that the country won't be able to move foward unless Republicans stop using "terrorist tactics."
"We can not give into bullies," Hays said.
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