Tuesday, March 11, 2014

State Senate Abandons Milwaukee's Mentally Ill

I cannot even begin to express my disappointment in the Democratic state senators right now.  They have betrayed the mentally ill in Milwaukee County:
On a 33-0 vote, the Senate approved the measure to strip the County Board of oversight and establish a board of medical and other professionals to set policy and oversee funding. It also requires the state to conduct an audit of the Mental Health Complex, paving the way for a possible take-over of the facility by the state.
This bill is a farce.  What it really is is the privatization of the mental health system.  Capital vultures will come in and take the money that is being offered and use it to pay their administration well and cut services to our most vulnerable citizens.

The bill was only introduced when Chris Abele had a tantrum after the Milwaukee County Board installed safety measures to make sure patients were actually being kept safe and being provided services.  Abele then went running to his good friends, Teapublican Joe Sanfelippo and ALEC officer Leah Vukmir, asking them to allow him to abdicate his duties and responsibilities to the mentally ill.

Oh, and the medical professionals - the clinicians, the nurses and the nursing assistants - have all come out decrying this plan.  So much for listing to the professionals.

The fact that the Democrats thought voting for a bill pushed by a plutocrat, a Teapublican and a member of ALEC is inconceivable to me.

And the thought that this was going to somehow take politicians out of the system is laughable:
A deal hammered out between Democrats and Republicans will limit Walker's control of the newly created board. The governor will appoint members of the board from a list of names submitted by the County Board and the county executive.

Beginning next year, though, County Executive Chris Abele will make the appointments. The board will consists of psychologists, psychiatrists, a nurse, family member, a financial expert, lawyer and patient advocates.
How much do you want to bet that Walker and Abele have already collaborated on who's going to be on that list? And how much do you want to bet that the composition of that list is based on the size of their campaign donations?

It was an irresponsible decision and a political blunder by the senatorial Democrats

The plan has already been shown to be a failure with dozens of patients returning to the mental health complex because there is insufficient service to keep them safe in the community.

And those are the lucky ones.  It's been know for years that the jails and juvenile detentions around the country are becoming the new homes for the nation's mentally ill.  Why would anyone think that things will be any different now?

Presuming that this bill passes, we are going to have an unelected group of people that will meet every three months - if they can get a quota - to make decisions that will affect not only the hundreds of patients, but the entire community.  What could go wrong?

I just wonder who they will blame when someone gets seriously injured or killed?  Who will be paying for the damage done and who will be responsible to clean up the even bigger mess they created?

No comments:

Post a Comment