Friday, July 31, 2009

And This Is Why...UPDATED

People are understandably wary about the government handling our health insurance. That would be the CLUNKER program. I trust you have heard about this? If not, here is a short review:

Okay. I can see some wisdom in that. It is great to get these old gas guzzlers off the road, recycle the vehicles, have people driving new, more efficient vehicles, and helping out the automobile industry. Not bad! Oh, but wait. Maybe it's bad for the taxpayers, and those who have been more energy conscious all along:

Well, there's a problem. Not to mention that many people will not be putting the money back into the AMERICAN automakers' pocket, but foreign automakers who are making affordable, fuel efficient vehicles. So there is that.

But here's a HUGE problem: The program is already broke. I am not kidding you. In FOUR days, the program has expended ALL of the money, $1 BILLION dollars, allocated to it. I guess that's a good news/bad news kind of thing. It worked, but now the funds have gone * poof *! There's hope, though:
A source told FOX News that senior Congressional leaders, the Obama administration and other lawmakers involved with the program are exploring potential options to either undertake administrative or possibly even Congressional action to infuse the program with cash.

Lawmakers were examining whether there was a possible avenue to provide much-needed reserves for the program as early as Friday.

Rep. Ed Markey, D.- Mass., co-author of the cash for clunkers provision, pledged to work with the Obama administration to ensure the program continues.

"Cash for Clunkers may have run out of cash, but America's consumers haven't run out of clunkers. We're going to work with the Obama administration to keep this wildly successful program going until it reaches its goal of helping consumers take 1 million gas guzzlers off the road," he said.

Like I said, glad the program was successful for the consumers for all of four days.

But wait - it wasn't TOTALLY successful:
A survey of 2,000 dealers by the National Automobile Dealers Association found about 25,000 deals had not yet been approved by NHTSA, or nearly 13 trades per store. It raised concerns that with about 23,000 dealers taking part in the program, auto dealers may already have surpassed the 250,000 vehicle sales funded by the $1 billion program.

"There's a significant backlog of 'cash for clunkers' deals that make us question how much funding is still available in the program," said Bailey Wood, a spokesman for the dealers association.

Alan Helfman, general manager of River Oaks Chrysler Jeep in Houston, said he was worried that the government wouldn't pay for some of the clunker deals his dealership has signed because they aren't far enough along in the process.

His dealership has done paperwork on about 20 sales under the clunker program, but in some cases the titles haven't been obtained yet or the vehicles aren't yet on his lot.

"There's no doubt I'm going to get hammered on a deal or two," Helfman said.

Oops. Sorry, dealers!

So the dealers are left holding the bag. They may get reimbursed, or they may not. Who knows?

But what does that say about how the government will manage HEALTH care?? That's just a tad more serious for many, many people - getting in to see their doctors, or having surgery - than trading in an old car. Nice program and all, but if they cannot handle that without huge complications in the very first week, running out of money, how in the world can we trust them to do right by us in terms of our HEALTH?? Sure gives one pause, doesn't it?

UPDATE: The House has just voted to give an additional $2 Billion to this program. Well, gosh - maybe it will last a whole week then, especially if you figure there are lots of dealers who haven't been paid for the first four days...

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