Monday, March 23, 2015

Assembly JFC Dems Stand Up For The Elderly And The Disabled

Last Friday, I, and scores of others, spoke to the Joint Finance Committee against Scott Walker's plan to privatize and decimate the long term support programs for the frail elderly and people with disabilities.

So it was with great pleasure to see that at least two committee members, Representatives Chris Taylor and Gordon Hintz, were not only listening to us, but are willing to fight for this.  The following is a joint press release from Taylor and Hintz:
Prior to the Joint Committee on Finance’s  (JFC) hearing in Rice Lake, the Democratic members of the JFC called for removal of budget provisions that would dismantle Wisconsin’s successful long-term care system.  Governor Walker’s proposal would replace it with a statewide model, likely run by out-of-state corporate insurance companies and without competitive bid requirements for contracts.  Following their request for removal of these changes, Representatives Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh) and Chris Taylor (D-Madison) released the following statement:

“The Republicans' dismantling of Wisconsin’s long term care system is throwing Wisconsin families into crisis,” Rep. Taylor said.  “Families served by Wisconsin’s long-term care system want to be treated with dignity and respect, and instead feel surprised and sabotaged.  But it doesn’t have to be this way.  Republicans need to take these changes out of the budget today.”

“Over the last week I have heard from hundreds of families that count on IRIS and FamilyCare for the support they need to be healthy and successful,” Rep. Hintz said.  “We are being asked to adopt a plan that has no details other than dismantling our existing long-term care system.  More than 50,000 Wisconsin families are served by our long-term care programs fear what this means for their loved ones.  This change has no business in the budget, and needs to be removed immediately to avoid any further harm and uncertainty."

Wisconsin’s current long-term care system has been a national model, based on years of trust, accountability, and work built by local stakeholder input. Currently, IRIS and Family Care allow people with a disability and the elderly to choose the type of in-home health services that best meet their needs, through regional providers or self-directed care. These changes were never discussed before they were introduced in the budget and have been met with strong opposition from families who were blindsided by the proposal.  DHS Secretary Rhoades has stated that she was also unaware of the proposal before it was included in the budget.
I thank and commend Representatives Taylor and Hintz for doing the right thing on this issue.

I just hope that their Republican counterparts realize that Walker has put them firmly on Wisconsin's version of the third rail and that they have the common sense to get off of it before it's too late for our state's most vulnerable citizens and for their own careers.


  1. Lay off the republicans on this one! They are looking out for our well-being. To economically prosper, America needs to burn the bodies of "undesirables" to fuel job growth and prosperity. Not only will there be benefits from harvesting the poor, weak, sick, or elderly that will directly be the results of harnessing laws of thermo-science, the economic benefits and economies of scale that will result from consumption of humans for fuel & energy makes privatization sound fiscal and social policy.

    Until people become useless to the ruling class, they participate in our economic system, adding to the creation of wealth through the surplus value of their labor (if employed) or to their contributions to either the military-industrial complex.

    When their economic usefulness no longer serves the needs of the ruling elite, we convert the surplus value of their being into an energy commodity. The powerful interests that will benefit from this economically efficient energy production cannot be stopped - just consider it another example of "the-invisible hand" that guides our economy slapping you in the face.

  2. I just saw something on a SaveOur ADRC's Facebook page about 2 large insurance companies (United Health an Molina sp?) speaking at the joint finance company hearing in MLWK on why we should hand it all over to them. The Audacity! Does anyone have a script of what they said or any info on that? Didn't take them long to move in for the kill. Of course this was probably in the works with walker for months or years.

  3. Any insurance company that favors slashing such safety nets for our elderly and disabled surely cannot be trusted with their care — or anyone else's!   We must make note of such companies and encourage their customers to switch to more conscientious companies, for their own heath and safety, and so that the pirates don't profit.