Sunday, June 26, 2011

Why Isn't Anyone Talking About Minnesota?

Is anyone aware of what's going on in Minnesota? Our legislature is trying to cut health care and services for tens of thousands of elderly, disabled, and low income people. This not only means no services or health care for them, but the elimination of jobs for the people who provide these services. Everyone from social workers to ILS (Independent Living Skills) workers to PCA's (Personal Care Attendants) to nurses to many other providers will lose their jobs. Thousands without care, who either won't make it or end up in nursing homes, which might close as well, along with assisted living and group homes.

These are important, needed services. How about a wheelchair-bound man who cannot get out of bed without the assistance of his PCA? What about the hard working woman who cannot pay her bills, get help with her doctor, doesn't know how to renew her health care coverage, get needed legal help, or receive assistance with all the other countless things her ILS worker does for her? What about the man who has 90% blockage in his heart, but now can't have the operation he needs to save his life? What about the transportation services being cut, without which the elderly and infirm cannot even leave their apartments? The list goes on and on.

Thirty-six thousand pink slips have already gone out to state workers. This next week (July 1st) the rest of us in this field will find out if we too will be laid off. As stated in Strong Progressive, it is many, many things that will be affected.

What about all the Republican talk of creating jobs? Does this fit in with eliminating thousands of jobs and having thousands file for unemployment - thousands who will also lose their health care or be forced to pay the enormous fees that go along with COBRA? And what about all the talk of supporting small businesses? The one I work for - and many others - will be put out of business completely. How exactly will this - along with all the unemployment claims - save money again?

I'm tired of the lying that goes on - the talk of cutting spending, creating jobs...blah, blah. It means nothing. The spending cuts only seem to apply to people who are poor and/or disabled. And the rest of us in the middle. While, in the meantime, another tax cut is proposed for the richest citizens. When does the greed stop?

These are so-called Christians? I guess they think they are blessed with so much because they deserve it more than everyone else? Where is the compassionate heart, the idea of looking out for your fellow man? Some of the most giving people I know - financially and otherwise - have the least amount of money. I have clients who live on next to nothing, and they still volunteer their time to help others, work jobs, and are productive members of society. They do this despite difficult disabilities and pain. Once again, they feel like they are being pushed under the bus. They are not numbers, they are real people who need - and deserve - real help.

And what are they talking about in Minnesota? The new proposed football stadium that will cost close to one billion dollars. Or the fact that if the state shuts down, they won't be able to get a fishing license. In the face of tens of thousands losing their jobs, and as many or more losing their services and health care - in comparison, is this really the priority right now? I'm tired of political games which hurt so many people, and don't affect the ones playing the games at all. This is real life - it is not a game. For all those caught in the middle it is very serious and very scary. It is really downright cruel.

A two page letter was sent out to all the people who receive services, in anticipation of their interruption or curtailment. It contains one particular sentence, that very coldly says it all: "If there is a government shutdown, do not call the state offices. It is likely that no one will be there to answer your call."

As the disparity between the super-rich and the rest of us grows bigger and bigger, isn't it about time we seriously started closing the gap? It's for the greater good of everyone. The economy, and the people in it, will never recover unless the mega rich quit trying to get wealthier and wealthier - while the rest of us pay for it with our health, our jobs, and our future.


Strong said...

We have to get the word out, even if it's very, very late.

stellablue said...

Very well said. It frustrates me to no end. We do not need to "save money" by turning our backs on those that need help the most. (which saves no money and costs people their jobs as you have pointed out) Focus needs to be put on making sure big corporations pay their taxes, jobs are created that pay more that poverty wages, and everyone has access to affordable health care. The people calling all the shots have no idea what it's like to worry about such things.