Friday, October 2, 2009

Bad News and Good News from Washington State

In Washington State, budget cuts meant the suspension of "adult day health services" to 950 elderly people. I gather these services, among others, included providing professional visits, therapies, necessary treatments, allowing relief breaks for those caring for elderly and infirm spouses, and just checking in on people to make sure they were OK.

Well, hell .. we got no choice, right? The durn money just ain't there!

Result? Elderhealth Northwest is an organization that helps frail adults continue to live in their own homes. This organization has determined that two people died and eleven others have lost the ability to walk as a direct consequence of lack of service resulting from state budget cuts.

Thankfully, a federal judge has stepped in and temporarily restored these services ... services that are clearly very much needed.

How can we as a civilized society simply say, "We don't have the money to look after the old and the sick and the helpless"?

How? Well, let someone propose a small tax increase to pay for these "frills" and the Republicans will start braying about "tax and spend" and "big government" and yaddah-yaddah-yaddah.

And, fearing that inevitable onslaught, no politician will have to guts to do what is not just right, but what is civilized.


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