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.