Giving In Order To Take?

I’ve mentioned before that I live in Arizona.  I’ve mentioned before that our governor, Janet Brewer, has decided that organ transplants are elective surgery for AHCCCS (Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System) members. This is the state’s Medicaid program.

Now it seems she’s changed her mind… at a price, that is.  According to our local paper, The Arizona Republic, in a front page article on Thursday, March 31, 2011, “…Brewer also wants lawmakers to restore funding for certain organ transplants.”  These are the same organ transplants she eliminated coverage for last fall and for that she’s come under severe criticism – especially after several well publicized deaths resulted from the lack of  a transplant.

While that may sound like good news, the title of this front page article is “Ariz. asking feds to OK cuts.”  What cuts? you may ask.  Oh, it’s only cuts for lower-income people – nothing that concerns you and me.  I’ve heard people say just that.  I think they may be forgetting that people are people no matter what their income level is.

And what are these cuts?  According to the article by Mary K. Reinhart and Ginger Rough, they are as follows:

“Freezing enrollment for childless adults….”

“Eliminating the medical expense deduction program….”

“Cutting reimbursement rates for hospitals, doctors and other healthcare providers by 5 percent…. That’s in addition to the 5 percent cut that was due to take effect Friday.” (That was last Friday, April 1, 2011.)

“New limits on benefits….”

“Mandatory co-payments for parents and children, fees for missed appointments, $50 fees for patients who smoke, are obese and fail to follow a plan for managing a chronic disease

“Eliminating state emergency-services funding for people without proof of citizenship….”

“Requiring patients to re-enroll every six months instead of annually.”

I am not by nature a political person and I’m not even sure I understand all this, so I’ve been very careful to quote the excerpts from the article I’ve copied in this blog.

This would reflect a savings of over $362,000 annually, but what about the people who need this help.  It never occurred to me when I gave blood to even think about the color of the skin of the person who would be receiving that blood, much less to think about their income level.  Wouldn’t the same hold true for a kidney (or any other kind) of transplant?

The first sentence of the article is: “Gov. Jan Brewer will formally ask federal health officials today to eliminate more than 160,000 people from the Medicaid rolls under a sweeping plan that would freeze two programs for adults, eliminate coverage for catastrophic care and impose a range of fees and limits health-care services for Arizona’s indigent.”  Wow!

We have more “indigent” throughout the country due to the economic times.  Can we really deny them transplants (those Brewer doesn’t restore) and healthcare because they were downsized?  What about their children?

As a humanitarian rather than a politician trying desperately to balance the state’s budget, I do not understand any of this.  Of course I agree that those on the welfare rolls need to be on a work program, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want them to have their health issues attended to.  What is our world coming to if we can’t take care of each other – especially when it comes to health matters?

This is a sad Gail wishing you would:

Keep living your life.

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Published in: on April 8, 2011 at 5:37 pm  Leave a Comment  

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