Friday, April 29, 2005

Medicaid Patients Slated For Death


I didn't see this headline. But there it is: Medicaid is going to be cut again, this time a huge whack of $10 billion. This means people will die or be much unhealthier. I once took care of a man who was released from the hospital after losing his job. He had no health insurance and his teeth were rotting so badly, he was literally dying from it. Rotting teeth is what shortened the lives of many humans in ancient times like about 100 years ago. I got him Medicaid help. He couldn't get his teeth fixed but he could get them pulled so he at least wasn't running a high fever and dying.

This is what is going to be cut. Rob is alive and well and working today and paying taxes. In the New World Order of the GOP, there would be no help and Rob would be dead and his little girl begging on the streets.

Meanwhile, taxes are cut on corporate entities yet again to the tune of $106 billion.

The whole world is watching this with amazement. When a government is deep in a deficit hole, you don't cut corporate taxes. With the rich becoming wildly richer, you don't cut taxes yet again. Especially when this means a half a trillion in red ink. What also dismays me is the fiction of what our budget really is. All pronouncements say, "2.6 trillion dollars" but leaves out the "off the budget" bunker buster bombs that drive the numbers well over $3 trillion.

This year is the first time since 1997 that Congress has used the budget to trim the explosive growth of so-called entitlement programs, particularly Medicaid. It directs lawmakers to reduce the growth of entitlements - including farm subsidies and a federal pensions guarantee as well as Medicaid - by a total of $35 billion over the next five years.

Mr. Bush originally proposed a $51 billion reduction. The architects of the Congressional budget say the $35 million is significant nonetheless.

"This is a major step," Senator Judd Gregg, Republican of New Hampshire and chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, said of the entitlement trims.

Mr. Gregg and his House counterpart, Representative Jim Nussle of Iowa, say the budget will fulfill Mr. Bush's goal of cutting the federal deficit in half over five years, bringing the figure down to $210 billion in 2010.

I am scratching my head over this. Cut $106 billion in taxes and then cut services to Americans by $35 billion is going to bring us CLOSER to solvency? Huh? Did I fail second grade math? Again, they leave out the wars and other "black bag" spending in these figures. Still makes nearly no sense.

The number one cause for bankruptcy with the lower working class is emergency medical bills. I have seen this first hand. Three years ago, a dairy farmer up highway 22 here in NY died of a heart attack at a county fair. The ambulance came when he collapsed. He waved them off. "Don't take me in, I will lose my farm," he said. He then died and "bought the farm" as they used to laconically say in the good ole days. In a sane world this man would still be alive.

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