shittiest day ever

I’ve had a bad day. A bad day for many reasons, including but not limited to finding out about this. The state of Washington, where I live, has decided to cut “non-essential” programs to fix the budget woes [instead of, say, passing a fucking income tax — we tried, the ballot initiative failed to pass in November].

Let’s look at this list, shall we?

From the top, “adult pharmacy benefits.” Right. So patients with diabetes don’t get their insulin. Patients with high blood pressure don’t get those meds, and psych patients [HI!] don’t get their psychotropics. This is such a clusterfuck and we’re only on the first point.

“Medical for Disability Lifeline (formerly GA-U)” — they’re cutting the entire lowest tier of DSHS support for those unable to work. And it’s not like it’s … was… easy to get on that tier at all — it took me six months to get approved, and that was after three hospitalizations for various issues, including a psychotic break.

“Eligibility reduction in Apple Health for Kids” — so kids at the very, very bottom of the barrel likely won’t get anything, any help in getting healthy. For all the whining and complaining and drama about ~the obesity epidemic~ [booga booga booga!], they sure don’t like helping kids. Making sure that kids don’t have any sort of health care is a surefire way to make sure they’re not as healthy as they could be.

“State-only Alien Emergency Medical” — well, we all know what this is, THEM FUCKING ILLEGALS, TAKING OUR JERBS AND OUR HEALTHCARE. I guess it doesn’t matter that undocumented workers pay much more into the system than out of it. Oh, no, it’s just “them dirty brown furr’ners.”

“Adult Dental Services” — so despite the fact that dental problems can rapidly turn into “real” health problems [an untreated mouth infection can and will spread to either the brain or the heart, or both], apparently us poor folks don’t deserve to keep the teeth in their mouths. Great.

“First Steps/Maternity Support Services/Infant Case Management” — even in a completely healthy woman, pregnancy can and does kill, especially during birth. And it’s been proven that getting a healthy start, even in the womb, can help children get a fighting start on the rest of their lives. I’m not talking about “don’t let fat women have kids,” or “how dare them disableds procreate,” but simple things like proper vitamins and enough water.

“Adult Hospice” — so people don’t deserve to die in comfort now? I mean, obviously it’s a good thing that they’re dying, but how dare they expect that it’ll be easy?!

“Interpreter Services” — I don’t have any words for this that aren’t profane. Last I checked, being able to understand your doctor was a fucking RIGHT protected by the state if not the federal government. ugh.

“School-based Medical Services” — I’m unsure if this is college-based or more elementary and secondary schools, but either way, it’s … kinda gross that they’re cutting services to vulnerable populations. If Neighborhood Elementary School A has five children with specific needs that can only be helped by a trained nurse [diabetes, asthma, heart issues, anything like that], those children are now at risk of dying if they don’t get the care they need.

“Medicare Part D Co-Pays” — this ties in with the donut hole thing. Medicare is so fucked up in this country right now that we expect people to pay for all their medications after a certain amount and until a different certain amount. Medicaid in Washington is … or rather, was, set up to cover the co-pays for these medications to help people get through the hole. No more.

“Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapy” — yay! now the only thing helping some people be productive members of society is being taken away! or, in my case, the only thing that’s sortakinda helping to relieve the GODSAWFUL PAIN at bay is getting yanked.

“Take Charge/Family Planning” — so instead of helping people with birth control [which is what Take Charge does], we’re going to possibly create a huge group of people that we need to pay for [eg children born because their parents didn’t have reliable access to birth control]! brilliant, people. great way to save money.

“Adult Vision” — because being able to see is TOTES not necessary. TOTES.

“Adult Podiatry” — and feet aren’t needed either!

“Adult Hearing Services/Devices” — and hearing isn’t important at all as well.

As a kicker, at the bottom of the page, it says “DSHS does not discriminate and provides equal access to its programs and services for all persons without regard to race, color, gender, religion, creed, marital status, national origin, sexual orientation, age, veteran’s status or the presence of any physical, sensory or mental disability.”

But no mention of economic status. This group of cuts is going to impact primarily one group: poor people. As a poor person myself, someone who is going to be badly affected by these cuts, my first impression is one of despair. There are so, so many other things that could have been done, things less important than the health of hundreds of thousands of people. There have been calls for activism for months, nearly a year, by organizations like Planned Parenthood and other health providers.

There is only so much one person can do. There is only so much fighting one can do before they get tired, before they get discouraged, before they give up.

I just passed that line, and I’m so scared.

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3 Comments

  1. Gabrielle M.V. said,

    December 10, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    this is where i live, too.

    i live in an apartment with two other roommates. i’m the only one who has insurance (and that’s not even MY insurance, i’m still on my parent’s – people who voted against the income tax).

    we all three have some form of depression – two of us, manic-depression and schizophrenia. one has psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. one has needed his wisdom teeth out AND a root canal for over a year.

    this month, forget about medical expenses…buying food has been a bit of a challenge.

    i’m so…disappointed, and upset, and scared. there are not words.

  2. December 10, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by rochelle nicole, Rachel McCraw. Rachel McCraw said: Washington State cuts “non-essential” programs –like pretty much all medical ones http://bit.ly/ggHGve #disability #poverty […]

  3. rosa, rugosa said,

    December 12, 2010 at 5:00 am

    The ongoing problem exists that if people refuse to pay for services, we don’t get services, and as a result, our fates are tied to people who had a hissy fit about a soda/beer tax (really, you don’t *need* soda or beer) or an income tax that 97% of us wouldn’t pay.

    So, uh, as a result, our fates are tied to public opinion and the out-of-state funded misinformation campaigns that lied their way to the soda/beer tax repeal and not imposing an income tax on 3% of the state. By the way, I know about 3 or 4 people who would pay that tax. They all voted for it.


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