Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Defending My Family Against Mark Green

I have a close relative that suffers from a variety of mental illnesses. That is why I read a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story the other day with great interest. The story dealt with the possible ending of the very program that has been critical to my relative and many others, it’s called Targeted Case Management. In brief, the program teams up a well trained case manager with each client. The two then work together to ensure that the client’s basic needs are met. In the process the client learns many skills that many of us take for granted.

Every year since Scott Walker has been Milwaukee County Executive he has tried to privatize the program (last year being an exception). With a lot of work and time we were always able to get enough votes to hold off Walker’s repeated attempts. We thought we could finally take a breather after last year, but now I will have to prepare to defend my family once again. This time not from Scott Walker and privatization, but from Mark Green and budget cuts that may totally end the program.

From the Journal Sentinel story:

The county is in a position to lose $1.3 million in Medicaid funding for a program known as targeted case management, which provides medical, social, educational and occupational services to people with severe mental illness. At last count, the county had 1,318 residents enrolled in the program.

If the federal government cuts funding, some 300 people could lose their eligibility, Henken said in a memo to County Executive Scott Walker; Richard Nyklewicz, chairman of the County Board's finance and audit committee; and Linda Seemeyer, director of the county's Department of Administrative Services.
The county could lose another $1 million in funding for similar programs for children with developmental disabilities.

That's because in February, Congress passed the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, which includes provisions that might restrict or even eliminate Medicaid funding for targeted case management services.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Mark Green (and the rest of the Wisconsin GOP delegation to Congress) vote for the “Deficit Reduction Act”? Why is Mark Green attacking the vulnerable in my family? Why did he vote to cut funding for this and other programs taking away about $50 Billion ? Oh I’m sure he’d say it was to “reduce the deficit” right? Then why did he promote more tax cuts for the wealthy costing about $70 Billion? Those numbers increase the deficit don’t they? Did Mark Green attack my family member merely to put more money in the pockets of his true constituency, the corporate and the rich?

Whatever his reasoning, many of the victims of his cuts will not take it sitting down. For my part, I will be dedicating as much time as possible to defend our state from someone with such a heartless agenda.

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