"The Ronan Report" provides insight about the activities at the Western Maryland Health System in Cumberland, Maryland, and about the changes taking place in healthcare today from a CEO's perspective.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Free Phones, Now Free Internet

Yesterday, I heard on the Stuart Varney radio show that the Lifeline Program put in place by the federal government in 1984 to provide landlines for the rural poor will be expanded to include the Internet and possibly the 11 million "undocumented workers" who are now seeking a path to citizenship.  The program has grown to include cell phones - actually 300,000 of them at a cost to the taxpayer of $2.2 billion.  Not that long ago, the cost of the Lifeline program was $143 million per year until cell phones were added in 2008.   According to Mr. Varney, the program is riddled with fraud and now the government wants to add broadband access.  I can't fathom why anyone has to have internet access for emergency purposes.   The "good news" is that there will be limits as there are with cell phone minutes which are limited to 250 minutes per month.  The only problem is that of those 300,000 cell phones, many are duplicate phones owned by one person; one would assume that's where the fraud comes in.  In a time of sequestration, I can't understand how we are furloughing air traffic controllers and potentially putting our air traveling public in jeopardy, but continuing to provide cell phones and now internet access to the "poor".  Both commonsense and leadership seem to be limited these days in certain sectors of our government.

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