I am a husband, father, son, brother, uncle and friend. I believe in sharing my talents and experiences by giving back to the community by giving my time to coaching, church and especially to the disability community. I truly believe that all men and women are created equally.
"Nothing About Us Without US!" is a slogan used to communicate the idea that NO Policy should be decided by any representative without the full and direct participation of members the group(s) affected by that policy. This involves national, ethnic, Ability-based or other groups that are often thought to be marginalized from political, social, and economic opportunities.
This was the theme of the rally to have the Medicaid provisions removed from the Budget Repair bill.
We heard stories from families who have lost their jobs and/or benefits and are relying on BadgerCare to ensure that the family still has health insurance.
We heard from a Stage 3 Breast Cancer Survivor, who with the help of Wisconsin Well Woman Program is around today to tell her story. Again, a husband and wife who both lost jobs and benefits.
We heard from a mother who has a son that has had over 10 surgeries in his 7 years of life, including a couple of heart operations. Without Katie Beckett, those surgeries may not have been possible without sending the family into bankruptcy.
We heard from seniors and those with disabilities who have been able to remain living in their own home because of Family Care.
I could continue, but I think you get where I am going with this. Each one of these programs is supported by Medicaid.
Some of these programs were implemented by Tommy Thompson during his time in Madison. One parent told the story that then Gov Thompson had many panels and invited various groups to the table to get valuable input from people that his legislation would affect. Please note, Gov Thompson received input from the public before making decisions that would affect them. I want to make sure you read that correctly, public input was important to Gov Thompson when making decisions in regards to laws and policies.
The Budget Repair Bill, as written today and with strong rhetoric that no changes will be made to it, will take away that public input in regards to the Medicaid provision. It will also take away legislative oversight. I have written that the Legislative Fiscal Bureau has written that this is a concern as Non-Fiscal policy in the bill. (http://www.cudahynow.com/blogs/communityblogs/116675959.html) There is nothing in this provision that has any immediate impact of the current State Budget or in the next bienmium.
As I listened to the stories today, a proud dad as my son sat in the front with other advocates, I started thinking about unintended consequences of this bill. I just completed my training to become an IRIS (Include, Respect, I Self Direct) consultant part time, this is part of the Medicaid waiver program, it is a potential alternative to Family Care. I started thinking that if there are major policy changes to the Medicaid program, as determined by DHS and Joint Finance, not legislators or the with public input, I could be out of a part time job. Boy I am just starting out, how many other individuals could lose their jobs because of the same changes. If larger numbers are removed from the Medicaid programs, there will not be the need to have all of the workers. Let's take worse case, if 1.1 million people have benefits cut, how many private sector workers could lose their job?
It is time to contact your respective legislators and tell them that we need the Medicaid provision removed from the Budget Repair Bill. Here is a link to help you find your legislators http://legis.wisconsin.gov/w3asp/waml/waml.aspx