Death Panels in Wisconsin

May 16 2011 Published by under Uncategorized

Even though the state has found itself to be in surplus after a revised budget analysis last week, Governor Walker is still advocating cutting funds to Family Care, managed long-term care for the elderly and adults with disabilities serving about 3,000 people daily. I’ve heard we call interference with health care “Death Panels”, and these are Walker’s.

Over 400 residents will wait for necessary medical care for two years plus if Walker cuts the funding this June, mirroring the horror fable Republicans made up about the Healthcare Reform law, only this time, it would be true. People would be waiting in line for care and too many of them dying while waiting.

Wausau Daily Herald reported:

For more than 400 residents in five counties served by the state’s long-term care program, Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed budget could mean they won’t get services for at least two years…Walker’s budget puts a freeze on Family Care that would go into effect June 20. Those who still are on waiting lists June 20 or sign up for the program after that date would have to wait until the freeze ends in two years or until someone leaves the program, opening up space.

“The end result of the budget proposal, the way we understand it, is anyone still on the Marathon wait list and (Lincoln) wait list, they’ll remain on the wait list until someone leaves our program,” Canales said…For Marathon County, one possible outcome is that people on waiting lists will petition the courts for long-term care. If the care were granted, the county would be responsible for paying, which could include costly group-home care, Tylka said.

The Governor’s spokesperson replied:

The governor supports the Family Care program, but had to make difficult choices to balance the $3.6 billion budget deficit, Cullen Werwie, Walker’s press secretary, said in an email. In light of a recent audit of the program, it’s clear that reforms will be needed, and the governor felt that freezing the program at current levels was the prudent course of action while reform plans are developed, Werwie said.
“It’s another in a long line of false promises that were made by past administrations that the state can no longer afford,” Werwie said.

Again, Wisconsin is not in a budget crisis. They never were, but now more than ever, they are facing a possible 600 million plus surplus. As the Governor urges the working folks to share sacrifices while he gives tax cuts to the Koch brothers, he is now claiming that the state can’t afford Family Care, so over 400 will wait for care. Paying off long term debt is now more important that the lives of Wisconsinites, in fact, it’s so imminently important that Walker can’t find a solution or phase folks out gradually. He is just cutting off the funds.

Obviously, Governor Walker is taking cues from Sarah Palin, who also let her Medicaid program fall apart, leaving over 250 people to die waiting for care, until the program made history by being shut down by the federal government. Lawsuits are still on-going. You can imagine the costs of lawsuits. Which leads us back to the phony goal post of budgets. If this were really a budget issue, the best way to deal with it would not be to suddenly cut off funds on June 20 of this year, as if there were a fire under his feet. There isn’t.

Like Sarah Palin, Governor Walker ran on being a Christian and yet, he is choosing a now debunked fiscal issue over the lives of his constituents. Not only is the fiscal issue a non-issue, but morally, Governor Walker is bankrupt. The Republicans had the audacity to scream “Death Panels” at President Obama and the Democrats for introducing healthcare that would protect citizens from corporations, while they are the architects of the real death panels that place corporations over people and use the phony guise of a manufactured budget crisis to justify blatant disregard for human health and life.

The Death Panels in Wisconsin would be real. Just ask an Alaskan.

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