The Washington Post‘s business section gives a map and description of what has happened since the Republicans threw their idiotic tantrum in Congress:
The government shutdown jeopardizes the paychecks of more than 800,000 federal workers who were sent home. The federal government has almost 2 million employees. Civilians who remain on the job will be entitled to their salaries, but might not be paid on time. President Obama has signed a bill that ensures that certain members of the U.S. military and U.S. Coast Guard will be paid during the shutdown.
And if that’s not all, here’s a story that is going the rounds, and it’s not fiction. As you may know, the government shutdown includes both the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation (as well as many other agencies), putting a stop to the flow of research funds. This has some dire consequences. As reported in RT (and many other places):
Patients seeking to enroll for treatment in research studies at the National Institutes of Health’s Maryland hospital are out of luck due to the government shutdown.
For every week the shutdown lasts, the agency’s research-only hospital will turn away approximately 200 patients – 30 of them children – who often seek participation in experimental studies after more traditional methods have failed, National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Dr. Francis Collins told AP.
Though prospective NIH patients are usually eligible for studies at other hospitals around the country, “this is the place where people have wanted to come when all else has failed,” Collins said. “It’s heartbreaking.”
A child with a life-threatening illness is likely the only exception, Collins said, and existing patients will continue to receive care at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda.
In addition, he said that all experimental studies are on hold as long as Congress cannot settle on a budget deal.
“If you expected new treatments for cancer or a new universal influenza vaccine or discovering the causes of autism were going to move forward at the maximum it could, that will not be the case,” Collins said. “This is a profoundly discouraging day.”
To put it bluntly, the Republican shenanigans could result in the loss of life. Children with life-threatening illnesses may be exempt, but screw those sick adults. You’d think that the Republicans could make an exception for medical research, but what do they care? They’re all sitting pretty with their health insurance and big paychecks, which of course will still be issued during the shutdown.
Of course we look ridiculous to the rest of the world, but that’s not nearly as worrisome as imagining the people who could die because of Republican stupidity.
h/t: Skip, Grania