Marine Times: Doctors going without pay from Tricare
Tricare beneficiaries who see civilian doctors aren’t seeing any effects from the government shutdown yet, but the contractors and doctors who care for them aren’t getting paid.
The Defense Health Agency notified all three Tricare regional contract managers on Oct. 2 that DHA has the funds to pay them for services for two weeks, although the money actually is not being distributed.
Instead, the contractors will be paid, with interest, when funding is available — essentially, when Congress authorizes the appropriations.
WSIU: Shutdown: Federal Prosecutions Hampered
The federal prosecutor for southern Illinois says the partial government shutdown is starting to affect his ability to do his job.
U.S. Attorney Stephen Wigginton says about 35% of his staff is on furlough because of the shutdown. But more importantly, he says, agents from the FBI, Drug Enforcement Agency, and other federal law enforcement outfits are out of work as well.
Illinois is scaling back on certain hospital and nursing home inspections because of the partial federal government shutdown, state officials said.
The Illinois Department of Public Health gets about $1.3 million a month to pay for inspections of medical facilities, but that money’s been stopped because of the shutdown…
California farmers and growers say they’re feeling the affects of the partial government shutdown.
Government agencies have suspended timber harvests in National Forests, and stopped market reports. Now, farmers say they will see delays in conservation and marketing programs — among other services.
Farm groups say the impact on California farmers could be greater depending on how long the shutdown lasts.
In a letter to Congress yesterday, head of the National Retail Federation said the US economy will suffer a further blow if the government can’t come up with a long-term solution on funding and the debt ceiling.
Already consumers are wary; Gallup’s Economic Confidence Index fell 12 points last week–the second largest weekly drop ever, the NRF notes.
“Only the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008 has done more damage to consumer confidence in such a short period of time,” said Matthew Shay, president and CEO of the NRF.
Financial Times: Shutdown starts to bite for US businesses
After a decent August, the consumer economy had weakened in September due partly to the threat of higher interest rates. The partial government shutdown – together with the risk that the US will fail to raise its debt limit next week and risk a potential default – threatens to inflict further damage in the final months of the year.
The evidence is anecdotal, in part because many government statistical agencies have themselves shut down, but the falling sales are real.
The corn is tall and the pigs are plump in Polo, Ill. But farmer Brian Duncan is preoccupied by the government gridlock 800 miles to the east.
So what’s the biggest headache for him connected to the government shutdown? “I would say it’s the lack of information,” said Duncan.
Daily reports from the Agriculture Department, which help farmers read the markets for corn and livestock prices, have ceased.
“We don’t know the value of a hog in the market place,” said Duncan. “It starts out as an annoyance. It goes to frustration. Then a headache. And then it becomes a big deal because just because the government’s shut down doesn’t mean agriculture stops.”
KTVA: Shutdown hits Antarctica
On the other side of the world, some Alaskans are feeling the impact of the government shutdown.
Earlier this week, the United States Antarctic Program announced research facilities near the South Pole will go into “caretaker status.” The statement explained, “USAP will be staffed at a minimal level to ensure human safety and preserve government property.”
The statement said without government funds, the station can’t conduct research. Since the station’s relatively warmer summer season is about to start, this is bad news for researchers who only have a narrow window to work.
Queens Campaigner: Fed shutdown hits boro
Employees at federal offices across the borough were going without paychecks, although some said they had the understanding they would be paid once Washington got back to work.
“People have families to take care of, mortgages and childcare to worry about,” said one employee at the Social Security Administration office in Jamaica who asked not to be identified.
Employees at the office who process claims and answer calls to the agency’s 800-number were still at work, but those who staff the part of the office that distributes cards were told to stay home and guards outside the office were turning away visitors.
Yalew and her husband, a D.C. taxi driver, moved to the United States from Ethiopia about 22 years ago, she says. They became citizens and have been working to save money for their two adolescent children ever since, but the government shutdown has affected both of their incomes.
Tastee Diner is usually packed on the weekend with regular customers coming in for breakfast and lunch, Yalew says. But since the shutdown started, those regulars have been reduced to just two or three customers.
With fewer customers coming in, tips are also down.
“We don’t know how to feed our kids,” she says. “This is very scary.”
Britain’s top arms producer BAE Systems has warned that the persisting US government shutdown could financially damage the group.
“Impact to the group’s US operations would result from a protracted government shutdown,” BAE said in a statement.
The company said it has placed its staff at the US-based Intelligence & Security and Support Solutions businesses on unpaid leaves since the start of October as a result of the US government shutdown.
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian: Economist warns: US govt shutdown could hurt T&T
Republic Bank economist Ronald Ramkissoon has said that if the US Federal Government’s shutdown leads to greater economic uncertainty, there will be implications for T&T and the rest of the Caribbean. “While the world, the Caribbean included, is more and more turning to emerging economies for trade, dependence on North America and Europe is still critical for this region. As such, if the situation in the US worsens there will be implications for the Caribbean,” he told the T&T Guardian yesterday. The US Federal Government shutdown is now in its 11th day.