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Why Not

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.

Blizzard Day Thoughts

Now that most of the shoveling is complete, I get to spend a second "quality" day with my 3 kids.  It may be a bit to cold to spend it in the backyard like yesterday though.

Some observations from Wednesday's storm:

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My Son is Growing Up to be an Advocate

Last night, my son attended his first People First meeting (http://peoplefirstwi.org/page2.php). This was his first real opportunity to be with individuals who are fighting for their rights, other than his family.  People First is an advocacy group that takes on issues that affect them and their families.  It is a group run by individuals with varying disabilities.

The issue last night was the State budget.  There is great concern about the Medicaid budget.  Medicaid also covers Family Care and IRIS programs within the State.  Not only does Medicaid affect people with disabilities, but it also affects the elderly. 

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Girls Softball

Now that the Packers season is over and the snow is beginning to melt, it is time to think about pitchers and catchers reporting to Arizona on February 16.  It is also time to think about the upcoming baseball and softball season for the kids.

The Cudahy St.Francis Little Baseball Association (CSFLBA) (http://www.ballcharts.com/csfbaseball)  is looking to expand its Girls Fastpitch Division in both the Majors and the Minors for next season. These leagues are open to all girls from the ages of 8 to 14.

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Delivering a Message

There have been many occasions in my life where I have had to deliver difficult messages.  The most diffucult by far was letting my brother, sister and my mom's sister know that my mom had passed away.  This happened almost 25 years ago, but I still remember it like it was yesterday.  I sometimes think back on that morning and wonder if I told them correctly, did I deliver this difficult message correctly. While it was not an easy message to deliver, I had to do it.

Throughout my career, I have had to deliver my share of messages, both good ones and bad ones.  It was not until I became a father, did I realize the importance of how the message is conveyed.  The delivery of the message is probably the most important part of a message.  A poor delivery and there will be outrage.  Deliver a message with much thought and maybe the message is received with more of an understanding. When I deliver a message to my kids correctly, there are no fights.  When I come out and say that this is what is going to be done, my way, there is always an argument that ensues.

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Another Budget Repair Bill Item

The budget repair bill is not just about State Workers:
 
Senate Bill 11 and Assembly Bill 11 - called the Budget Repair Bill was written to help balance Wisconsin’s current budget, but makes other changes which will have significant impact on persons with disabilities and their families.
 
Under this bill the power of consumers (individuals with a disability) and families to have input into how Medicaid Services are provided, including determining who is eligible and what services are provided, may be taken away or severely limited. Many of these decisions could happen mostly behind closed doors at the Department of Health Services with little legislative oversight. Potentially sweeping and far-reaching changes to Medicaid could be implemented in a matter of days.
 
Changes to eligibility without your input (or with very limited input) means people with disabilities and their families won’t be at the table when policymakers determine who needs Medicaid services like the Katie Beckett program, Children’s Long Term Supports Waivers, Family Care and IRIS.
 
Changes to benefits without your input (or with very limited input) means people with disabilities and their families won’t be at the table when policymakers determine what services are necessary to help you and your loved one have a good quality of life.
 
Being the father of a son with a dual diagnosis of Down syndrome and Autism, this will have a very serious adverse affect on Tyler as well as the family.  These services allow individuals with disabilities to live a fulfilling life as they see fit, not as how others think they should live their lives.
 
I hope somebody can explain to me why there is such a rush to push this bill through without ample time to get peoples input.  I understand the financial issue.  But why rush through legislation without a good knowledge of the entire bill.  Is 30 days really going to make a difference?
 
 

Remove the Medicaid Provisions from the Budget Repair Bill

Maybe the Medicaid aspect of the Budget Repair Bill should be removed completely.  Not only will this affect people in the disability community, but it will also affect anybody currently receving Medicaid benefits. 

Again, I ask, why no public input?

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Raising Awareness to Medicaid

A media event will be held today in Madison to support Wisconsin Medicaid and raise the voices of people with disabilities, working families, older adults, and others with a stake in Wisconsin's health.
 

The event will be held at 1 p.m. on Sunday, February 20, 2011 at the
Madison Senior Center (330 West Mifflin St., Madison, Wisconsin).

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Medicaid Matters Alliance

From Save BadgerCare Coalition

Medicaid is a vitally important safety net for over 1.1 million Wisconsinites including working families, older adults, and adults and children with disabilities including mental illness, developmental disabilities, and physical disabilities.

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Legislative Fiscal Bureau on Repair Bill Medicaid Provision

In part from a memo from the Legislative Fiscal Bureau.  There are other items in the letter to Rep Barca. 

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Press Event to Support Medicaid

I am excited to share with you that my son Tyler will be attending his first rally with many of his friends from People First in support of Wisconsin Medicaid.  This event is so important to my son, that he will be taking a half of day off school.  He feels that his support for removing the Medicaid provision from the Budget Repair Bill will be a long term benefit for him and his freinds.  As his parents, both my wife and I support Tyler's decision. Tyler and his friends made signs for the event at their People First meeting on Tuesday night.

The event is going to be held on Thursday February 24 at 10:00

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"Nothing About Us Without Us" Medicaid and Jobs

From Wikipedia:

"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.

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Why No Voice

I am curious as to why Governor Walker does not want to allow legislative discussion when it comes to our Medicaid program.  More importantly, the voices of the citizens of Wisconsin will also remain silent. What is he afraid of?

The Budget Repair Bill, as it is written today, would allow the Department of Health Services (DHS) and the Joint Committee on Finance to create policy  to allow changes to the Wisconsin Medicaid Program. There has even been concern expressed by the Legislative Fiscal Bureau as to this provision.

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Budget Repair Bill Questions on Medicaid Provisions

Here is an email that I sent to Governor Walker:

Governor Walker

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