Saturday, February 19, 2011

"The Bill" is bad for a lot of things

Despite the focus in the protests and the press, it's not just about employee relations.

State Representative Sandy Pasch explains in an article on the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel website. Here's an excerpt. The link will take you to the whole article.

"...there is a relatively little-known proposal in the same bill that could have severe consequences for our state's medical assistance programs.

This provision would give the Walker administration carte blanche authority to make far-reaching changes within vital health programs - including the spectrum of BadgerCare plans, Family Care and SeniorCare - with only minimal review by the Republican-controlled budget committee.

Among other things, the secretary of the Department of Health Services - under the direction of Walker - would have unilateral authority to modify benefit levels, reduce income levels for purposes of determining eligibility and authorize providers to deny care or services if a program benefit recipient is unable to share costs.

DHS would be authorized to sidestep current law requirements for the promulgation of emergency rules, which require a showing that the rule is immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, safety or welfare to implement these changes. Emergency rules do not require notice, hearing and publication requirements applicable to ordinary rules. In addition, DHS would be authorized to extend these changes indefinitely. Under current law, emergency rules can only be in effect for 150 days. Extensions of emergency rules under current law cannot exceed an additional 120 days."

In other words, if you live in Wisconsin and have a child with autism*, a parent in a nursing home, a sister or brother with a disability who is now able to live independently but could not do so without the support of a home care worker...well, if this bill passes it's likely that their lives, and probably your life, are going to get more difficult, much more difficult, soon.

*For more specifics on how this bill could affect therapy options for children with autism, please read the posts at Elvis Sightings.

1 comment:

magnusmog said...

We are having similar worry/outrage at the Government proposals for chenges to our welfare benefits which has huge implications for disabled people and their ability to live independently.

Frightening times ahead I fear. It always helps to protest though, take back a little of the control:)