Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

Local News

October 7, 2013

Government shutdown effects local individuals more than groups


Brad Manning of Texas Neighborhood Services, which includes the and local Head Start program, also said the shutdown is having no effect on his groups, locally.

“Our funding strains run May to April, so we’re still working from 2013 money that was previously appropriated,” he said. “If the shutdown continues until April 30, we would have impact, but nobody sees it going that long.”

Manning added that, nationally, 23 Head Start agencies representing about 19,000 children had to close on Oct. 1 because of a lack of funding. However, he said none of these were in Texas.

Palo Pinto General Hospital CEO Harris Brooks said his facility is also unaffected, as of yet. He explained that Medicare is not shutdown and, as a member of the Texas Health Association, all Medicare payments will continue as normal for PPGH. The only thing that hangs in limbo for PPGH as a result of the shutdown are some unpaid bills that expired Sept. 30.

“Because of all this, they’re basically dead in the water until [Congress] comes back into session and can get some agreement and get the government back on some track,” Brooks said. “Those things have expired for now. But the basic funding that we send to Medicare, those bills are being paid.”

Although the government shutdown is not effecting many large groups yet, where it is hitting hardest is on the individuals who depend on government salaries.

Strawn resident Peggy McQueary is a federal corrections officer at Federal Medical Center, Carswell, in Fort Worth. Many government employees have been furloughed, but as an officer at a federal prison, housing more than 2,000 female inmates, McQueary is mandated to go to work. She just won’t be getting a paycheck until the situation in Washington is resolved.

“We knew signing on that was something that could possibly happen,” she said. “We have to be there, because, obviously, someone has to supervise the inmates. We’re supposed to get reimbursed when all of this is said and done.”

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