Saturday, November 6, 2010

Texas Conservatives Ready to Turn Away Medicaid: Leave Intellectually Disabled and Children Without Care

In the wake of the election this week, Texas lawmakers that ignored the $25 billion budget shortfall during the election discussion, have now decided that to address that shortfall, they may elect to eliminate Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIPS).

The focus of Medicaid is for the poorest among us, but it also includes people with intellectual disabilities as well as other disabilities. In other words, the Texas Legislature, run by conservatives, wants to put the mentally retarded people out on the streets, without any funding to take care of those who can't take care of themselves.

Keep in mind, those that can take care of themselves, probably are not receiving Medicaid funds in Texas Supported Living Centers. The thousands and thousands of individuals who live in those centers, some of which have severe physical handicaps to go with the mental disabilities, would be put out in the streets to fend for themselves if they have no families (and many of them don't).

Keep in mind, many of them are in facilities because their families have either died, could not take care of them, or could not afford to take care of them. Their care is very expensive, but does that mean we should take our ideological conflicts out on them? Did they really have a choice? Or are these legislatures saying they don't deserve to live if they can't get a job to pay for themselves.

What are they going to do when some of them are put on the street, but are fed through tubes? Let them starve? Or let them die as they aspirate food into their lungs and die of pneumonia?

What are they going to do when some of them are put on the street, but are bed ridden and cannot walk? Leave them on the side of the road until someone runs over them or they die?

What about the children? Are we going to put the children in the middle of our ideological conflicts, leaving children to get sick and die if they can't find a job to make up for what their parents cannot afford?

At some point, Texas conservatives need to realize that while they are waging an "ideological culture war," they are also screwing Texans.

At some point, Texans need to start realizing what is going on instead of simply doing the same ole thing over and over, and still ranking last in the nation in education, and first in minimum wage jobs, and first in food stamps.

It is one thing to take it out on the intellectually competent poor, they chose to vote you into office. It is quite another to take it out on the intellectually disabled who don't vote, the children who can't vote, and both who are defenseless and innocent victims on your chosen battlefield.

I guess they will just call it collateral damage and ignore them. I don't know about you, but I can't ignore them. They deserve better. We owe it to them.


Anonymous said...

I work in a dental office and I see a lot of medicaid patients who don't match the definition of low-income families: They show up in expensive cars, they have blackberry cellphones, also their children have cell phones and video games, they dress better than myself (and I am not in medicaid). I have talked to some of them and they really believe that the goverment has to support them. Some of these women have 3,4 0r 5 children and they get pregnant again. For these women it is not a problem because the government will keep payind the bills. I agree that Medicaid should be eliminated. These trash people are not worth it.

Katherine Mercurio Gotthardt said...

Anonymous, first, judge not unless you know the full story. Many people who seem to have "things" don't have money. For example, I worked at a food pantry where people sometimes pulled up in fancy cars. They were the same people who had lost their homes and were about to have those cars repossessed because they had lost their jobs. Their kids might have expensive toys because they were given them as gifts. And those toys might even be second hand. And cell phones? People use cell phones the same way they use land lines. In fact, some people don't even HAVE landlines any more.

I am not saying everyone is a good person. There are those who take advantage of the system, but you can't tell me those people are intellectually disabled. It's a sin not to take care of our most vulnerable.

There is a way to administratively weed out those who don't really need subsidies. The problem is not with the needy--it's with the oversight, or lack thereof.

Realityblah said...

My son is severely disabled by autism and receives Medicaid in as much as he receives waivers services to allow him to live in the community rather than in an institution. We aren't low income, but we aren't wealthy either. He is one of the developmentally disabled that requires one on one, life time care. Medical insurance isn't required to cover autism where we live and certainly doesn't cover the care he needs. That is why children and adults like him go on Medicaid or receive waivers. I have had one individual tell me that my son should have been aborted rather than drain his tax dollars. Clearly this individual didn't grasp that autism isn't diagnosed in the womb and moreover, my son is a human being, not trash to be thrown away.