Sunday, February 20, 2011
Unless you've been living on a deserted island or watching a 5 day marathon of tevo-ed American Idol, you've seen what's happening here in Wisconsin. Governor Walker has not only granted huge tax breaks to his wealthy cronies but is attacking the Public Employees Unions, going so far as to propose revoking collective bargaining rights. Another proposition included in his plan has received much less attention from the press, but is equally devastating to Wisconsin's families. Walker has proposed drastic cuts to Medicaid and is requesting stricter guidelines to determine eligibility for the program. Generally a family must earn within 200% of the Federal Poverty level to qualify for the State’s Medicaid, known as Badgercare. Part of Walker's proposal would limit eligibility to 130%. Walker would need to request a Federal waiver to impose this change, but appears to be confident it will be granted. Meanwhile other states are following suit, finding ways to justify waivers of the Federal Healthcare guidelines. The Feds have granted waivers in the past most, notably to the State of Arizona which has been widely criticized for their changes in healthcare policy. Since these changes have been implemented 2 people have died as the result of being determined to be ineligible for previously approved transplants. Approximately 90 pre-approved patients awaiting transplants are now being denied the life saving measures that had once offered hope for survival.
Amidst the attempt at Union busting, the proposed cuts in healthcare and other public services the 117 million dollar tax cuts (actual total is uncertain) to the wealthy is a slap in the face, a kick in the teeth and well many distasteful analogies come to mind, I'm sure you can fill in your own.
The good news that has come of this fiasco is the incredible solidarity, support and unity that have been demonstrated not just by Wisconsinites, but from supporters all over the country and in other parts of the world. Protesters in Egypt, in the midst of their own struggle for Democracy and Freedom have sent words of encouragement and support... and pizza! According to several sources one business in particular has received over 2,500 worth of donations to buy pizza for protesters, some orders coming from as far as Cairo and Europe as well as other states here in the US.
Local Union hospital employees have also donated food and many Madison residents and business owners have opened their doors to provide shelter, food and warmth to the activists, many who have been stationed in Madison for days.
The protests are expected to continue for at least a few more days, beyond that it is difficult to predict what will happen. No matter what we Wisconsin residents are grateful and inspired by the support and solidarity from around the world. I encourage my readers to do anything, no matter how small a gesture may seem, to do whatever they are able to help our cause. This is after all, bigger than Wisconsin. Walker’s brand of political insanity spreads like a disease and other states are already working on similar proposals. On the Federal level anti abortion measures are going to restrict more than just abortion, but will also limit access to birth control and routine healthcare for Women all over the country.
The Intention for this blog and my germinating White Wave Consulting business is born of the principles of self advocacy, empowerment and social justice. Here is our chance to have a voice, to empower ourselves, others and to create real social change.
Please see my Facebook page for ongoing updates, links and ways you can help.
In Peace and Solidarity,
© 2011 Nanakoosa’s Place, authored by Jennifer Hazard