No Fools Allowed

August 16, 2012

I interrupt this, otherwise Love-filled blog, to express a political rant that has been burdening me for quite some time.

I am a community organizer. I organize communities around THEIR healthcare related issues and concerns. We have been dealing with issues of Medicaid Spend Down, Formularies and LIA Waiver Request from the (DSS) Deparment of Social Services (if you actually read those links, wow! and thank you).

In Connecticut, Medicaid is also known as Husky. There are four types of Husky Programs: A, B, C and D. In order for you to qualify to receive Medicaid Part D (also known as LIA or Low-Income Adult) your MONTHLY income CANNOT exceed more than $512.05 in the Greater Hartford Area (click here for qualification guidelines).

A few months ago, the Department of Social Services requested a waiver (mentioned above) to the federal government asking to withdraw a particular group of people from Husky D. Connecticut legislators wrote to the Commissioner concerned with that fact that Husky D recipients are infact the most vulnerable of Medicaid recipients (read letter from CT Legislators).

A public hearing took place in July 2012 where EVERYONE testified in favor of denying the waiver. At the public hearing, questions asked by legislators often left the commissioner and his staff answering, “We don’t know.”

The department claims there would be a a savings of $50 million. There no proof of this figure or how they even came up with it, ANYWHERE.

But this is what the GOVERNOR wants to balance the budget. This is where he believes we need to cut to save his budget. And legislators (who are up for reelection in November) decided not to reconvene to cast a vote (A-la-Pontius-Pilate) and “appear neutral” to the needs of their constituents.

When our governor appointed Commissioner Bremby in March 2011 he said ,”I’ve said over and over that we will not cut the safety net -and DSS and their partners are a lifeline for people in crisis.” How lucky are you Governor Malloy, that three out of every four Hartford residents has literacy problems.

A message to Connecticut Legislators (urban and suburban alike), at what point did you stop listening to the people? Did you know that you are not a pawn of the governor but in fact a PUBLIC SERVANT?

I have studied politics. I have taught state and local government classes. I am organizing communities. Tell me please, how do I inspire a community to remain active and involved in the process to create change when YOU void their effort and fight by simply remaining idle?

It is clear that everyone was against this waiver and still you took no action. It is clear that this waiver will help no one and create a greater debt in emergency room visits, medication non-adherence and possibly death.

These people are the most vulnerable among the vulnerable and you dismiss them without as much as casting a vote. It makes you spineless. Your actions speak louder than any campaign flyer you will send in the mail.

Mark Twain said, “It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.”

The truth is, I wrote this for my community. Not for you. You clearly don’t care. You are just a politician. But unfortunately, most of my community won’t ever read this. Hell, most of them don’t even care to vote. I can’t blame them anymore. What for? You’re all cut from the same cloth.

I will not forget. I will make sure everyone I talk to knows about this and the countless other things you do for political gain and comfort. It may not make as much as a dent in the outcome of your bought-and-paid-for-campaigns. But I ain’t no fool and I’ll be damned if my community is made into one.