California Would Feel Impact of Impending Government Shutdown
A looming government shutdown would affect federal operations in California and temporarily put tens of thousands of state residents out of work, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
The U.S. Office of Personnel Management estimates that California has about 170,000 federal employees (Myers, San Francisco Chronicle, 4/7).
Unless the White House and Congress agree on a short-term spending measure, federal funds will dry up at 12:01 a.m. Saturday.
Obama administration officials have estimated that about 800,000 federal employees nationwide could be furloughed as a result of the shutdown. Federal employees considered critical for protecting life or property would be exempt from the furloughs (Doyle/Thomma, Fresno Bee, 4/6).
Possible Effects on Health Services
Physicians at veterans' hospitals are among the workers deemed essential and likely would continue working if a shutdown occurred. Essential federal employees would not receive wages during the shutdown, but likely would be reimbursed with back pay after the dispute ends.
Federal agencies that administer Medicare and Social Security would continue issuing checks during a shutdown, but new applications might not be processed. According to a senior administration official, the shutdown would have to drag on for months before Medicare's trust fund would run out.
In addition to affecting health care services, a federal government shutdown could lead:
- National parks, such as Yosemite, to close temporarily;
- The Internal Revenue Service to shut down and stop processing paper tax returns (San Francisco Chronicle, 4/7); and
- Soldiers fighting overseas to receive IOUs instead of paychecks (Fresno Bee, 4/6).