One Million Ohioans Free Phone Program Costs State $100 Million

By the way, this is the cost each year.  It is known that each senior center some months ago in Pennsylvania, was giving out free cell phones and all one needed to do was sign a paper. One could also sign up others by “proxy”. Take the form home and have others sign the forms and bring them back to the senior center. So this is just the beginning.  Another give away, the USDA was giving out vouchers to seniors to take to local farmer’s markets to get “free” fresh fruits and vegetables. The same process as well. One could sign up others by proxy. Anything for a vote or two.

One million Ohioans are using a free phone program costing the state nearly $100 million a year.
Dayton Today reported:

A program that provides subsidized phone service to low-income individuals has nearly doubled in size in Ohio in the past year — now covering more than a million people. At the same time, federal officials say they’re reining in waste, fraud and abuse in the program.

The Federal Communications Commission announced recently that reforms have saved $43 million since January and are expected to save $200 million by year’s end. In Ohio, savings are expected to be $2.9 million a year.

The savings were realized in part because the government gave out fewer cellphones to ineligible people and took steps to avoid issuing duplicate phones.

But the size of the program in the state — and profits to the increasing number of cellphone companies involved — has exploded in recent months, according to a Dayton Daily News analysis of program data.

The program in Ohio cost $26.9 million in the first quarter of 2012, the most recent data available, versus $15.6 million in the same timeframe in 2011. Compared to the first quarter of 2011, the number of people in the program nearly doubled to more than a million.

Growth could cost everyone who owns a phone. The program is funded through the “Universal Service Fund” charge on phone bills — usually a dollar or two per bill — and the amount of the fee is determined by the cost of this and other programs…A growth of $100 million in this program could result in an increased fee of a few cents on the average bill, according to officials from the agency that administers the program. The total cost of the program nationwide was $1.5 billion in 2011, up from $1.1 billion in 2010. H/T and more at  Gateway Pundit

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