The author of this blog is now facing the reality of what the Republican Party, the state of Florida, and Governor Rick Scott are perpetrating in the midst of the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s!
The attack has begun on Medicare and Medicaid, with the proposal of House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, who proposes privatization of both programs over a ten year period for all under the age of 55, leading to vouchers in the future, which will not provide adequate medical coverage for the elderly, the sick, the poor, and the disabled who benefit from these two programs of the Great Society of Lyndon Johnson!
But meanwhile, in many states controlled by GOP Governors, including the state of Florida in which I live with my younger son, Paul, who is on Social Security, Medicare, and until March 31 of this year on Medicaid, the attack has begun to wipe out those on the Medicaid rolls, as simply too costly for these states!
Rather than raise taxes on the very wealthy and corporations, and certainly NOT lower taxes on these privileged groups, Rick Scott of Florida, along with Scott Walker of Wisconsin, John Kasich of Ohio, Chris Christie of New Jersey, Paul LePage of Maine, and others are rapidly wiping disabled people, such as my son, off of Medicaid, without any justification in writing, any explanation, any concern about what it might do to my son’s health and well being, and that of millions of others in these states!
After nine years on Medicaid, and thank God, not much use, but occasionally having hospital bills because of seizures, my son is now faced with the possibility that future visits to hospitals will result in a massive bill, as a backup to Medicare coverage, that he will not be able to pay at the age of 27, as he does not have the ability to support himself financially, although he works very hard and diligently as a usher at a local movie theatre for the past six years, but only earns about $2,000 a year.
Were it not for the death of his mother six years ago, Paul would not be on Medicare coverage, and would not have any Medicaid coverage now as a result of the decision of Rick Scott’s government in Florida to cut him off from medical benefits! Being unable to pay the bill that Medicaid would have covered, Paul’s small attempt to establish a good credit rating will be destroyed once he has a hospital bill he cannot pay. And, unfortunately, as a retired (at least full time) faculty member in a couple of months, the author will not have the ability or legal responsibility to be able to pay what is likely to be a hefty bill from the hospital in the thousands of dollars, when a hospital admission were to occur!
The author is also concerned at the danger that Paul’s expensive medication for his seizure issues, more than $1,000 a month, might possibly be taken away, and the author’s inability to pay out for that kind of medication out of his own retirement income, even with future part time teaching!
Paul’s situation is just one example of what millions of people across America will be facing with the heartless, aloof, unconcerned attitude that Rick Scott and other Republicans, national, state and local, have on the issue of medical care for those less fortunate.
Paul is fortunate to have a loving father, and in the future, a loving brother, David, who will do whatever they can to insure him as good a life as they can afford, but what about the many people who will not have such fortune, and face being forced out of group homes and off Medicaid, and probably off prescription drugs they need to live and prosper? With Governor Scott’s executive order cutting funding immediately for Medicaid and disabled people, we will be seeing people much more health challenged than my son who will lose assistance in their daily lives, and in many cases, may have no place to live, and therefore, an inability to survive!
There is a need for everyone across the country who believes in human rights and dignity, and recognizes the crime being visited against the most unfortunate among us by Governor Rick Scott and other governors mentioned above, and by the Ryan plan in Congress for the next fiscal year, to organize and fight on this issue, by emails, phone calls, visits to state and congressional offices all over the nation, and marches and demonstrations nonstop to demand that this denial of rights and dignity to the most disabled and unfortunate among us be immediately stopped dead in its tracks, before we have dead people as a result of GOP “death panels” who decide we cannot afford Medicaid, but must make sure every fetus is born, but have no concern for what happens after birth!
For those who are reading this, thank you for your consideration of what I am saying, and know how much I love both my sons, and will continue to fight for them and all other people in this country who deserve nothing less than humane consideration by government at all levels!
The Tea Party Movement and the Republican Party may not care about what happens to the disabled and unfortunate among us, but we must pay them for their callousness with political action to repudiate their despicable, disgraceful message on how to save money at the expense of the needy!