Recent polls show that the vast majority of Americans find a shutdown as a negotiation tool to be unacceptable. My daughter called me this morning and said she had gone to see her doctor before work and her doctor cannot believe how ridiculous the Tea Party Republicans are behaving. Why are some people so against citizens having reasonable access to healthcare benefits? They do know that the Supreme Court ruled Obama's Health Care Act constitutional, right?
What's going on in Wisconsin is just as bad. Walker didn't accept federal funding for Medicaid and so in addition to costing the taxpayers more money, less citizens are going to qualify for Badgercare. Katrina desperately wants to move back over the state line by this time next year so she can vote Walker out of office.
A patient of ours I spoke with yesterday is curious to see if open enrollment will help her. She is currently self-employed and paying almost $700 month for individual insurance with a $5000 deductible. Yikes! Hopefully it will cost much less than that for shoppers. According to Walker if you make $24,000 and are supporting a family of four you don't need help and can buy your own insurance. That's less than what my daughter makes to support herself and she can't afford to buy her own insurance so thank goodness she's still eligible to be on our plan. Confused about your health care insurance options? Maybe this link will help.
Some idiots in Congress think the shutdown will "prove" that we can do just fine with less government. Oh, by all means, who needs to take care of our National Parks, the Statue of Liberty or the Smithsonian? Future generations can make do with pictures of what we used to have.
The NPS website is shut down so all my out of country readers can't be linked there to find out about our National Parks, but the Department of the Interior has a copy of a letter from President Obama to government workers regarding the shutdown. Did you know that the federal government is America's largest employer? Who needs all those support workers on Capitol Hill or funding for medical research? I guess the Republicans didn't learn their lesson the last time about how this would affect their party in upcoming elections. That's a lot of voters affected by this action.
As for us, we're off to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 17 days. Employees at the park will go from 326 to 47, with services such as campgrounds and visitor centers being closed. We'll be staying in a campground outside the park (thank goodness we have reservations!) but it will be weird not to be able to go into the Visitor Centers. Hopefully we'll still have access to some trailheads because hiking and fall color are what it's all about for us this trip. October is the second busiest tourism month in the area with 1.1 million visitors usually arriving, but perhaps not this year. Hopefully this will be over quickly, but you never know.
Newfound Gap Road will be open as it traverses the mountains directly through the park, but most other roads including Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail and the one through Cades Cove will be closed.
|Will our new truck that replaced the Dodge Ram above be driving this road in fall color soon?|
Not only is GSMNP affected, but the Foothills Parkway and the Blue Ridge Parkway will be closed as well. Should make for some interesting detours. I know others will cancel their plans, affecting the local economy drastically, but we're going no matter what. I'm hoping everyone in Washington D.C. stops acting like babies and gets to work doing the job they were elected to do so the public service employees affected by this shutdown can get back to work as well.
In the meantime, anyone with knowledge of trails not in GSMNP feel free to give me a heads up!