It didn’t take long for the decision made on the other side of the country to reach across the miles and time zones. Today, the small town where we sometimes work announced that agencies operated by the community government will be impacted by the federal government shutdown. Beginning this week, employees are cut to 32 hours per week, and if the shutdown is not resolved in two weeks, layoffs will begin.
This is a community of Alaska natives, and a significant portion of their town budget comes from various government agencies. The clinic we work in is operated with funding from Indian Health Service (IHS), a federal agency. How ironic that in a government shutdown focused on a fight over national healthcare, healthcare is already being affected with clinic hours cut; patient referrals cut (with the exception of patients requiring medevac); and a freeze on numerous social and peripheral services.
At the moment, I’m not interested in placing blame. Really, I believe both sides in the debate have made mistakes and used poor judgment. But as usual, the little guy will pay the price, literally, with hours cut from pay, limited services, and stress and anxiety over the whole episode.
If the present Congress errs in too much talking, how can it be otherwise in a body to which the people send one hundred and fifty lawyers, whose trade it is to question everything, yield nothing, and talk by the hour? ~ Thomas Jefferson
As I hear about services cut throughout the country, I wonder what the real price is for this impasse? I’m sure the crisis of the moment will be resolved. But what does it do to the national psyche when small town America, through no fault of their own, is at the mercy of politicians a continent away?
The little guy is usually the hero of the movie, coming through at the last minute to save the day. We need leaders with vision. I think the ones in office have lost their way.
We could use some little guys right now. Sure hope they make it before the end of the movie.
Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it. ~ Mark Twain