National Park Service Shutdown Plan Calls For Furlough Of 21,379 Employees

If Congress and the Obama administration fail to avert a budget impasse next week, the National Park Service will move to furlough more than 21,000 employees in a two-day process of closing down the National Park System.

The shutdown, coming as many eastern parks are heading into the traditionally tourist-heavy fall leaf-peeping season, could cost gateway communities upwards of $30 million a day in lost revenues, according to the National Parks Conservation Association. Too, the economic impact would be something of a double-whammy for those gateway communities that lost revenues when the budget sequestration imposed early this year led some parks to delay their openings, while others shuttered campgrounds.

Across the 401 units of the park system, closures will be conducted quickly, with "day visitors ... instructed to leave the park immediately" and overnight visitors given two days to leave the parks.

"Wherever possible, park roads will be closed and access will be denied," states the Park Service's contingency plan (attached below) drafted in the event Congress fails to pass a Continuing Budget Resolution to keep the government operating. "National and regional offices and support centers will be closed and secured, except where they are needed to support excepted personnel. These steps will be enacted as quickly as possible while still ensuring visitor and employee safety as well as the integrity of park resources."

According to the plan, posted on the Interior Department's website Friday, each of the Park Service's seven regional offices will be whittled down to about three full-time employees.

At individual parks, "Due to the dramatic differences in operations, size, visitation, location, and infrastructure represented in national park sites, the number of employees required to carry out the essential activities defined above will vary greatly from site to site. As a rule, staffing will be held to the very minimum for the protection of life, property, and public health and safety. Only personnel absolutely required to support these activities will remain on duty. Wildland fire personnel required for active fires or for monitoring areas currently under a fire watch will remain on duty.

"All other personnel, including law enforcement, EMS, and Fire Management not deemed excepted will be furloughed, but will be subject to being called back in the case of an emergency."

Of the agency's 24,645 employees, all but 3,266 will be furloughed if the closure comes about, according to the plan.

At the NPCA, officials decried the possible closure of the park system, saying it could impact as many as 750,000 visitors a day and cost gateway communities as much as $30 million in lost revenues every day the parks are closed.

“A government shutdown would make a bad situation even worse for our national parks,” said Theresa Pierno, the NPCA's acting president. “Families, school groups, and tourists from around the world have made plans expecting our parks to be open. Instead, they face the possibility of disruption and disappointment, while local businesses and park concessioners that serve them face the prospect of lost revenue and further economic hardship.”

While the threat of government shutdown occurred in 2011, the government actually shut down in late 1995 and early 1996 for a total of 27 days. According to NPCA’s 1996 report, this shutdown cost park-dependent communities an estimated $14 million daily.

"Mariposa County, adjacent to Yosemite National Park in California, saw 25 percent of their adult population temporarily out of a job due to the park closure," NPCA said in a release. "The communities around Everglades National Park were hit with an estimated decrease in direct sales of up to $1.4 million. In today’s dollars, a government shutdown next week could be even more devastating to these communities."

“When our national parks closed in 1995-96, I received an outpouring of calls from gateway communities alarmed by the situation,” said Phil Francis, recently retired superintendent of the Blue Ridge Parkway, typically the most visited National Park Service unit in October, with nearly 60,000 visitors spending $1.4 million each day.

“The potential shutdown adds insult to injury because these communities are already concerned about the recent cutbacks in funding for national parks that have harmed the Park Service’s ability to serve visitors. No one expected these cuts to happen again. Now we’re looking at not only a potential shutdown, but the likelihood of another round of cuts. If that happens, there’s a good chance it’s going to be even harder than last year,” added Mr. Francis.

Chris Fogg, executive director of the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce in Maine, said the potential shutdown could be devastating to the Bar Harbor community.

Acadia National Park is an economic driver for our community and we could see a potential loss of $684,000 per day. The beautiful fall foliage in October attracts nearly 10,000 visitors daily and the loss could be shattering to our community," he said in comments distributed by NPCA. "Because of the sequester and the late opening of Acadia’s roads, business was already down about 30 percent in April and May of this year in comparison to the average of the previous five years. We just can’t believe that Congress is letting this happen."

Grand Canyon National Park averages more than 11,000 visitors per day during the month of October. Kevin Striet, business director of Grand Canyon Tour & Travel, is also concerned about a possible shutdown.

Grand Canyon Tour & Travel operates several buses daily to the South Rim filled with anxious passengers, both domestic and foreign, and some of whom, have planned their whole trip around the chance to visit the Grand Canyon," he said in the NPCA release. "The thought of having to re-direct hundreds of passengers at a moment's notice is not one that we like to think about but as the day comes with no resolution to an approved budget, the actuality of having to re-route passengers to other tours, or to perhaps cancel their excursion altogether, is daunting. We are hoping that at least a temporary budget is approved until a more permanent solution can be found."

AttachmentSize
NPS Shutdown Plan.pdf462.29 KB

Comments

Kurt,

This should give you a good idea of what alternatives are (and have been for some time) proposed:

http://www.nationaljournal.com/daily/republican-alternative-to-obamacare-relies-on-repeal-20130922

Justin - Nobody wants to regulate who lives with who. Those that defend DOMA don't want to fund those lifestyles nor dilute the meaning of marriage. As to legalization of marijuna, again for the most part people don't care what you do in your home, its the potential impact on others they are concerned about.

ec...

Speaking as a spouse to one and a friend to many NPS employees, each of whom is a real person with a real family and a real life, each of whom bleeds when cut, please accept the simple fact that on topics like this anything at all that blithely comes out of your mouth about what should happen to our lives in your fantasy me-only world will be obscenely offensive and unwelcome.


in your fantasy me-only world


How funny. I haven't said a thing about "me" or what would or would not benefit "me" It is you that selfishly puts your interest over that of the country. You are the one living in the "fantasy me-only world."

ec -

Your first two posts above have absolutely nothing to do with the subject at hand - which is the economic impacts of the looming shutdown on private businesses in gateway communities and on NPS employees. DOMA, legalization of marijuana and your other topics are not pertinent to this discussion. I suspect I'm not alone in wishing you'd at least stick to the topic... but then again, the impacts mentioned in the story don't affect you, so they apparently aren't important.

With all due respect to all involved, I'm sure ec intended his two comments above to be attached to the cellphone story....

Yes Kurt,

Thank you for that clarification. I apologize for having posted to the wrong thread.

"I apologize for having posted to the wrong thread."

You mean the thread that became a Liberal-Conservative proxy-contest?

I don't see why this one won't serve equally as well, or better!

The budget-duel in Congress that might precipitate a Parks shutdown is about Conservatives trying to hog-tie Pres. Obama's Health Care, which even Liberals don't like, but are forced to vote for, if they expect anything nice to show up in the budget, for their own districts back home.

The Liberals active role is to provoke Conservatives into doing something that will hurt them, and not the White House .... if only they could agree on what that should be. Which of course they wouldn't, even if they did. Being Liberals.

Parks-enthusiasts claim that the important effect to watch, is in the gateway-communities. Except, the Rim Fire smoke drifting into Mariposa Country shows the kind of thing that keeps life in these places, um, exciting. "If it ain't one thing, pal, it's 3 others."

There's a paper out there, showing that ski resorts' break-even model relies on something like one good year out of seven. Uh-huh.

And that is not a bad guesstimate for how tough ya gotta be, to scrape by in one of these places .... living in a piece of God's Country, tucked up against an awesome national Park, getting economically hammered to owl-pellets most years, but paying up the mortgage, painting the buildings and fixing roads, in the rare seasons when everything comes up sunny.

So the real question isn't can gateway communities handle a Parks shutdown. They'll hardly notice, though many of them can "flop" with the best of our NBA personalities. "Medic! Trauma! Man down! Ohhh ... my aching wallet!"

No, the real question here - and it could affect Parks going forward, a lot more than one isolated shutdown - does this budget-struggle conclude with Liberal or Conservative political blood in the halls of Congress?

What can you expect from a government spending for years more than it takes in and being guided by selfish politicians with a "what’s in it for me" attitude? At some point the taxpayers have to start paying the price, just sad that the national parks have to take it on the chin as part of the cost.

"What can you expect from a government spending for years more than it takes in and being guided by selfish politicians with a "what’s in it for me" attitude? At some point the taxpayers have to start paying the price, just sad that the national parks have to take it on the chin as part of the cost.

Since we are talking about budgets, and budget-cuts, I tried to find out about the Parks budget history. You know; so I actually have some inkling of what I'm talking about.

Usually, I'm pretty good at finding answers online, but chasing NPS budget-info has been frustrating. Maybe I'm asking the question wrong....

What I have found, is bits 'n pieces of budget numbers for different times, in different places. I am so far unsuccessful, finding a single source that forthrightly lists the Park numbers in one place.

I've also run into quite a bit of song & dance, and blowing snow, in budget-discussions.

From the bits & pieces though, it doesn't look good. Evidently, the NPS budget has more than tripled, in less than a decade, and has more than doubled, during the current Great Recession.

That's the opposite of what I expected, since I hear so much about NPS "budget cuts".

Does anybody have a good link that shows the Park budgets, plain 'n simple?

Ted-

The NPS 'Green Book' lists "budget justifications" for the past several years, which I assume means requested amounts:

http://www.nps.gov/aboutus/budget.htm

Good luck finding out how much was actually spent, and on what. I'm beginning to doubt NPS management really knows...or even cares!

The NPS is about as transparent as the 80's KGB: http://www.schundler.net/Monocracy.pdf

As I recall, during the last government shutdown, furloughed NPS employees were eventually reimbursed, so for most, it was a paid vacation with a delayed check.

News report: "House Republicans will meet in a rare Saturday session as they plan their next move..."

A Saturday session is rare indeed. So are many weekday sessions as well, so we shouldn't be surprised that our elected representatives have once again failed to meet the deadline for actually figuring out how to keep the government running for another year, as opposed to playing ping pong with bills that both sides admit won't ever make to the White House for signature.

It's hard to get much done when you keep the kind of schedule they do in Washington. According to this news report, "In 2013, the House will be in session for a grand total of 126 days. Congress will spend roughly two-thirds of the year not working. In January, Congress will be in session for eight days—which, compared to August where they will be in session for two days, is considered a 'full month.' June will be Congress’ busiest month with 16 whole days of work."

Now, I realize our elected representatives will tell us they are hard at work on those other days. After all, it's important to travel back to their home districts (at our expense) most weekends to stay in touch with donors for the next election campaign....and then there's always the other trips to earn a hefty honorarium while speaking to sympathetic interest groups, or taxpayer financed junkets to "see first-hand" what's happening overseas.

With full knowledge that two budget showdowns were looming (the FY14 funding bills and the debt ceiling), Congress still took off the usual five weeks in August and early September. But hey, when you work this hard, a long Labor Day weekend is well-deserved.

Too bad these people haven't figured out what "labor" on behalf of all the people they are supposed to represent really means.

Ted, not sure where you're getting your numbers from. According to the NPS "Green Book," its budget book, the FY12 enacted budget was down almost $1 million from FY11 in the area of "discretionary" funding; that is, park operations funding, funding outside of the "mandatory" budget tied to salaries and benefits, utilities, etc.

http://www.nps.gov/aboutus/upload/FY13_NPS_Greenbook.pdf

Page through that document and you'll also see that the FY13 request was down $21.5 million from FY12 for the NPS "operations" budget, the main discretionary fund.

The president's FY14 request was basically the same as the FY09 budget: $2.6 billion vs. $2.52 billion

http://www.nationalparkstraveler.com/2013/04/update-presidents-fy14-budget-proposal-would-get-interior-out-ditch-provide-23-billion-national-park23067

You can find the FY14 request, and past years' budgets going back to FY06, at the following site:

http://www.nps.gov/aboutus/budget.htm

Jim,

The less Congress sat in session, the happier I would be.

Kurt, - While I too question some of Ted's numbers, I think his comments about transparacy are dead on. The best we get is aggregate budgets (not actual spending) for the system as a whole when what we need is unit by unit line item income and expense statements. Its been implied earlier here by NPS insiders that such statements may not even exist. If that is in fact the case it would represent the height of mismanagement. How can the NPS expect the public to give them money when they are totally unaccountable.

Only two words are needed to describe Congress.

Greed

Stupidity

"Ted, not sure where you're getting your numbers from. ... Page through [the 2013 Greenbook] and you'll also see ..."

Here's my 'paper-trail', Kurt.

I had downloaded the 2012 Greenbook. It took 19 minutes, but proved to be 'only' a 7.4 MB file. I have a typical 'gateway community' Internet connection, which is Late Iron Age at 256K, and works solidly at a little over 1 MB per minute. The NPS site is 'having trouble' (page-links also show delays).

[Actually, it is "admirable" that a heavily-loaded website continues to function, albeit in low-gear. It takes acumen & work (and foresight), to make that happen.]

With a normal connection (and perhaps waiting until current excitement/interest dies down), the download chore won't be so arduous, but folks will still be confronted with a 595 page PDF file document (2012).

When Congress gets through fooling around, at least we will get a straight answer, what the budget will cost us. They won't point us to their 10,000 page PDF.

I started 'paging through' the monster, and soon found a section titled Budget Overview:

"For FY 2012, the NPS is proposing a budget of $2.9 billion ..."

=====

The Greenbook PDFs download page is sub-linked under the NPS About Us intro-page. The centerpiece of this page is their list:

"What We Do

National Park Service by the Numbers* ...
*numbers are cumulative through the end of FY 2008 (sic)"

[The fourth item down their longish list reads:]

"$2,750,000,000 annual budget".

[This data has apparently not been update in 5 years.]
=====

The Wikipedia NPS page has a nice chart showing budget-figures, 2001-2006:

2001 - $0.919 billion

2002 - 00.958
2003 - 00.982
2004 - 00.987
2005 - 01.047

2006 - $1.069 billion

That's where/how I got my numbers. Very recently, it's been a hair under $3 billion, from well under $1 billion in 2003, and not much over $1 billion, going into the 2007-2008 Crash.

Conclusion: money for NPS tripled-plus inside the most recent decade; doubled-plus during the current & ongoing Recession-crisis.

From Ballotpedia: The 45 calendar days that the New Mexico Legislature was in session during 2011 is tied with Utah, Wyoming, and Arkansas for the shortest legislative session in the country.[6]

Seems like plenty of time to get their work done... At least one of these states takes the citizen legislator concept further and does not pay pensions for legislative service...

I disagree with Lee's adjectives. I'd prefer Self-service, lust for personal power/reward.

Examples: Jesse Jackson Jr., "Duke" Cunningham, William Jefferson...and on and on and on...

The wikipedia gif is only partially correct in that it gives only the operational budget.

For year:

2004 - actual: $2.5

2005 - actual: $2.6

2006 - enacted: $2.6

2007 - enacted: $2.6

2008 - enacted: $2.8

2009 - actual (including $750K recovery): $3.6

2010 - (enacted, adjusted): $3.1

2011 - (enacted): $3.0

2012 - (enacted): $3.0

Thanks, dahkota. Is there a link for these numbers? I realize, maybe not...

As a 'check', I went back to NPS' Greenbook download page, and got their oldest copy, for 2006, which is also the newest version, in the Wikipedia chart. (It proved to be an 11.3 MB, 540 page PDF file, and took 29 minutes. A couple times that I noticed, it "stopped" entirely.)

What I see in the 2006 Greenbook is similar to dahkota's numbers.

I therefore now withdraw my previous assertions, that the NPS budget "ballooned" recently, and most onerously, as the rest of the country cinched the belt after the Crash, and have cut new holes in it, during the Recession. This appears to be, happily, "not so".

In fact, NPS budget-trends appear instead to show a normal or typical public-agency pattern ('moderate' growth).

I apologize for the confusion, though it certainly is not a matter of lax or flippant conduct, on my part. In all perfect candor, I was "prepared" to find outrageous budget-numbers, once it became too-clear that I was not readily finding a simple accounting. E.g., "Yeah ... these folks are evidently hiding/obfuscating the goods ... must be bad news".

Now seeing that the older budgets were not 'that' much smaller than current ones ... why this reticence with the simple facts? How many media people & private citizens are clogging the website, right now, downloading stupendous documents (they don't even want!) off their Budget page, when Parks could just put a simple list of numbers there? Kinda weird ... but "false alarm".

Although some may view the likely upcoming furloughs as a "paid vacation with a delayed paycheck," there's no guarantee Congress will decide to pay the employess sent home by the politicians. In the meantime, employees get an IOU, which doesn't help pay the bills if this thing drags on. Surely their mortgage company will understand if their payment is late.

As the story above notes, "All other personnel, including law enforcement, EMS, and Fire Management not deemed excepted will be furloughed, but will be subject to being called back in the case of an emergency."

So, their "vacation" works out something like this: Don't come to work, but don't go very far from the house, and be sure we can reach you immediately in case of fire, flood, rescue calls or other emergencies. If that happens, we'll expect to back at work right away to risk life and limb...without pay, of course, but we will give you an IOU that Congress might or might not decide to honor whenever this is all settled.

Perhaps even more onerous is this news item: "The US military's nearly 1.4 million troops will stay on the job in the case of a government shutdown but they will not get paid, the Pentagon said Friday....Military personnel will not be paid until such time as Congress makes appropriated funds available to compensate them for this period of service, Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter wrote in a memo describing contingency plans for a shutdown."

If you're acquainted with any enlisted personnel in the military, you'll know that many of them are barely getting by paycheck to paycheck. Great treatment for these folks and their families, and even more so for those serving in combat zones while spouses try to manage the family as single parents back home.

According to the above news item, about 400,000 civilian employees in DOD would be sent home by a shutdown, so "We wouldn't be able to do most training, we couldn't enter into most new contracts, routine maintenance would have to stop." Friends who work for DOD tell me the sequester-mandated cutbacks have already had a serious impact on military readiness, and a shutdown will only aggravate those concerns.

Nice work, politicians - but of course, your paycheck and operating budget will continue without interruption, so no worries.

Lee, from Republican Congressman Peter King, New York, he calls the actions of the tea party crowd "Governmental terrorism". Must admit I agree. Having been involved on two major fires here in the Central Sierra, its totally outrageous for this threatened governmental shutdown to be held over the heads of these NPS employees, and all others as well.

The back and forth about budget numbers and the green book make interesting reading, but maybe we are missing the real story here. People who have planned their trips for months are not going to be able to enter any of the 401 areas of the National Park System. Day visitors, who are in a park if the shutdown occurs, will be asked to leave immediately. People staying in concession facilities will be given 48 hours to vacate.

Some of the comments above have suggested that the gateway communities will survive. I agree. But what about the dream vacations in which money has been invested and will be difficult to recover? I have a brother in Michigan that was planning to go to Yosemite the second week of October. I have advised him not to. There is just too much uncertainty.

And this does not even consider the hundreds of thousads of employees across the government who will be out of a job on October 1st unless some mircacle occurs. It's not a pretty picture.

Rick


It's not a pretty picture.


Neither is Obamacare and the financial state of our country. You need to get some priorities.

" "Governmental terrorism" "

From Wikipedia entry Obamacare - Public Opinion subsection:

  • 39% supported the individual mandate to own insurance or pay a penalty. By party affiliation, 19% of Republicans, 27% of Independents, and 59% of Democrats favored the mandate. [277]

And:

Pollsters probed the reasons for opposition. [282] In a CNN poll, 62% of respondents said they thought the ACA would "increase the amount of money they personally spend on health care," 56% said the bill "gives the government too much involvement in health care," and only 19% said they thought they and their families would be better off with the legislation. [283]

Lack of support, and high dissatisfaction with Obamacare is what gives the GOP barbarian horde cover to swagger up & down the halls of Congress, carving their initials into the marble.

Local outlets have been selling tickets to this pre-planned spectacle, for years.

The House is preparing a counter-offer Bill, with a one-year delay on Obamacare.

The Furlough may yet be furloughed ...


Neither is Obamacare and the financial state of our country. You need to get some priorities.


What happened to the priority to tackle the long-term debt and deficit problem? How about the priority to deal with the potential government default that would result if the debt ceiling issue isn't resolved? I've heard little about meaningful efforts to deal with those issues.

Republicans in the House have become obsessed with Obamacare to the detriment of governing on any other issue; according to this news report, "House Republicans now have voted 42 times to repeal or otherwise undermine Obamacare." It's a given all of those votes are a waste of time, since the Democrats control the Senate, so all of that time and effort is simply political posturing. In the meantime, very little of substance has been accomplished by the current session of Congress.

Are there reasons to be concerned about some of the provisions of the health care legislation? Yes, but given the amount of misinformation passed out by both sides, it's hard to really evaluate the pros and cons of that bill.

Bottom line: In the last election, Republicans ran on a platform to repeal Obamacare. For better or worse, voters returned Obama to the White House and Democrats to control of the Senate.

It's time for Republicans to get over it and focus on other priorities. If Obamacare is really the single most important issue facing the country, the voters will put the elephants back in control at the next election. In the meantime, it's time for our leaders to deal with other problems.

Ted, all my numbers came from the greenbooks. I have fiber optic lines and so each download takes seconds. I looked at the chart included in each greenbook that shows previous years' actual/enacted, current years, and next years' requests. I have looked extensively for budget numbers pertaining to each park and to the main offices but have been unable to find anything except an occasional blurb in the news with no reference (for example, Assateague budget for FY13 was $5M before a sequester loss of $.25m). I do note though, that budget increases are not related to number of units nor acres of land, though I do not have access to historic data to verify this.

One thing often forgetten is that there are 401 units of the NPS, not the 58-61 (depending on the source) people think.


What happened to the priority to tackle the long-term debt and deficit problem?


That is exactly what the conservatives are trying to do. Merryly expanding government, increasing spending and raising the debt ceiling does nothing to accomplish those goals.

dahkota on September 28, 2013 - 1:27pm laments:

" I have looked extensively for budget numbers pertaining to each park and to the main offices but have been unable to find anything ..."

Maybe last winter, I was looking for certain info about Olympic, and came across detailed budget pages & files, on their site. I recall that this topic lapped over with Rainier, and North Cascades, and I saw the same kinds of budget material available on their pages. These 3 Parks coordinate, and especially on archaeology and Native American affairs.

If you don't have their data, I will retrace that path.

The "Monthly Treasury Statement of Receipts and Outlays of the United States Government" for August 2013 shows the following for NPS(pg 11):

August 2013 Gross Outlays: $233M

Current Fiscal YTD Gross Outlays: $2.65B

Prior Fiscal YTD Gross Outlays: $2.98B

http://www.fms.treas.gov/mts/mts0813.pdf

You can find earlier reports by changing the month/2-digit year. The earliest report I could find was for November 1997.

http://www.fms.treas.gov/mts/mts1197.pdf

There is also a more detailed annual report that Treasury produces that can be found here:

http://www.fms.treas.gov/annualreport/index.html

Thanks, Sara! This looks like a serious resource...

America can afford healthcare for the uninsured just like all legal

drivers can afford ( & required by law) to purchase vehicle insurance.

Oh, Where was the GOP's Tea Party when George

W. Bush was borrowing $ trillions from the Chinese commies and doubling

the national debt ? Federal employee costs are truly minor compared to

pouring/wasting $ trillions down the Iraq War & other war rat-holes.


That is exactly what the conservatives are trying to do.


Before you start pointing fingers, please check out what is happening on the conservative side of the aisle with regard to spending, appropriations, and pork. They only seem to believe in spending cuts when it is for the poor or a group they don't particularly like. Farmers, small businesses, corporations, oil, and anything in their home town seems to be getting government money no problem.

M13 - There is no such requirement in Colorado to buy uninsured vehicle insurance. And even if we can afford to buy healthcare (which I don't believe we can) why should we?

[edit] Oh, and the beneficiary of uninsured motorist insurance is the person that pays for it, not the uninsured driver.

Oh, and BTW there were plenty of conservatives complaining about Bush's spending though the wars were a minor fraction of the spend and deficit.

Dakhota,

In some cases I might agree with you - farm subsidies, ethenol, and similar programs should be eliminated though I don't know that it is conservatives that are the major drivers of these outside of where these are "home town" programs Could you provide some examples for oil or small businesses?

m13cli 's comment was "all legal drivers can afford ( & required by law) to purchase vehicle insurance." He didn't specify uninsured vehicle coverage. Colorado, and all other states, require at least basic liability coverage, or proof of other financial ability to provide that coverage.

Whether we agree or not, that's the model for part of the ACA - requiring everyone to have at least some health insurance, and therefore reduce the shifting of the cost of care of the previously uninsured to the rest of us. Either way, like it or not, we all help pay those costs. Which approach is better (the current "hidden" costs we're currently paying on behalf of the uninsured or the more obvious costs of ACA) is one of the keys to the current battle.

OK Jim, I misinterpreted his comment. Huge difference however. 1) People can choose not to drive (and many do) and thus don't have to buy insurance at all. 2) If they do buy insurance it isn't subsidized by the government. 3) They aren't required to buy insurance for themselves but only to cover damage they may do to others.

Obamacare requires everyone buy (or pay a penalty) and is heavily government subsidized. I have no desire to pay for someone elses insurance because they illegally entered our country or because they make the choice that they would rather buy an iphone or a big screen TV rather than pay for their own insurance.

Ec, don't you think you're already paying for the uninsureds' medical costs???

Don't you think a larger pool of insured would spread the overall costs around and benefit everyone?

Kurt - just because someone isn't insured doesn't mean they can't pay.

Sure we are (and should pay) for some uninsured, but uninsured are about 10% of the population 1/4 of which are illegals and another major portion of those that can afford to pay but just don't buy. Obamacare has the government seize control of healthcare for 100% of the country, forces people to take coverages they don't want or need, places business killing burdens on employers and is forcing doctors out of the business. Obamacare is using a sledgehammer on a thumbtack and won't provide any better healthcare to anyone than they have today.

In fact, Obamacare creates a greater magnet for illegal entry to our country and rewards folks for not seeking gameful employment. As the entitlements rise, the incentive to work declines.

m13cli on September 28, 2013 - 3:38pm wonders:

Oh, Where was the GOP's Tea Party when George

W. Bush was borrowing $ trillions from the Chinese commies and doubling

the national debt ?

In the Wikipedia Tea Party movement - History entry, we see:

According to pollster Scott Rasmussen, the bailouts of banks by the Bush and Obama administrations triggered the Tea Party's rise.

They weren't on the scene yet, when Pres. Bush was running up the till ... and when they did appear - they were lathered about that.
=====

Asking me? Is the Tea Party the neatest thing since sliced bread? They're 'interesting'. They lack (and even diss) some GOP-qualities, that make the GOP a force to be reckoned with. That might let them serve as a 'solution', and it might (as some GOP figure) just leave them weak & unstable.

But one thing we can be sure about: If the Tea Party is perceived as playing a key role in blocking a national budget until the White House retreats on Health Care ... they will have scored a major political coup.

There will be nothing else on the news, for weeks. If you're sick o' the Tea Party now ...

... And the National Parks' designated-role as citizenry-provocateur will quietly return to the shelf.

Tea Party - sliced bread with a liberal undercurrent of racism throughout.

Rick - "racism" ? Would you care to document that?

It's been well documented. Do your own damn research.

Ah, Rick. once again you have no valid arguments so you come out with the empty accusations. There is absolutely nothing racist about the Tea Party.

Rick B. on September 28, 2013 - 7:57pm gives the TP his best diss:

"Tea Party - sliced bread with a liberal undercurrent of racism throughout".

Very big & serious players, with a great deal at stake, have already flung that one at 'em. Not much luck getting it to stick.

The Tea Party movement does have its warts & halitosis ... but festering sores & oral gangrene are common among the existing political establishment.

One favorable & comforting thought, from your point of view, is that the GOP themselves arguably have the best motive & means, to arrange for the Tea Party to catch lead-poisoning, as the Budget end-game approaches.

In the big Beltway-melee, it could be made to look like they did it to themselves.

Could you provide documentation for this?


Sure we are (and should pay) for some uninsured, but uninsured are about 10% of the population 1/4 of which are illegals and another major portion of those that can afford to pay but just don't buy.


And this:


places business killing burdens on employers and is forcing doctors out of the business.


And this:


Obamacare creates a greater magnet for illegal entry to our country and rewards folks for not seeking gameful employment.


If you are going to demand it of others, I fully expect you to respond to the same.

O.K., we've dragged this horse far enough.