Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sometimes, Politics Scares Me

There have been times when I get political here, and I'll probably never change that. There are times, though, that I kinda keep my mouth shut. Sometimes, I just get feeling a bit smothered by all the debate and argument. And sometimes the debate and argument swirl around suppositions. People say that if someone gets elected than this will happen, or that if we spend our tax money here or there than the economy will soar or tank.

But we really don't know, do we? It's all speculation? Sometimes we're right and sometimes we're wrong.

Well, now it's not so much political as it is personal. And I don't really know what's going to happen. I'm just afraid. Very afraid.

First, please watch this video:

Video Courtesy of

If the state budget passes as currently proposed, it is very likely that my son, Jacob, will be disqualified from receiving services from the state DSPD (Division of Services for People with Disabilities). That means that he would also be disqualified from receiving Medicaid, and almost all of his medical expenses would then fall on our insurance and our shoulders.

So that you understand, let me show you some examples. His daily formula and monthly medicines cost about 7 grand a month. So, after our deductible, our split of the 80/20 would be about $1400. Considering that this insurance costs us about $900 a month, and that would include a $500 out-of-pocket deductible, we're paying some pretty hefty costs in medical expenses monthly.

And, keep in mind that the amount quoted above doesn't include doctor's visits, nor specialists visits, nor physical therapy, nor equipment like wheelchairs, nor his yearly week-long stay up at Primary Children's.

Here are just 16 of the 72 cuts being considered:

  1. Eliminate Medicaid optional eligibility categories
  2. Reduce Medicaid spend down eligibility level
  3. Reduce children’s dental coverage
  4. End the Traumatic Brain Injury Waiver
  5. End the Physical Disabilities Waiver
  6. End Disability Services
  7. Reduce local Substance Abuse treatment
  8. Reduce local Mental Health funding
  9. Eliminate Children’s Center Mental Health Grant
  10. Eliminate Autism Preschool
  11. Close State hospital beds
  12. Eliminate general fund for Nursing Home Alternatives
  13. Eliminate coverage for Breast and Cervical Cancer Clients
  14. Eliminate Meals on Wheels for 8200 people at risk for malnutrition
  15. Eliminate meals at Senior Centers for at risk seniors
  16. Provider rate reductions for all levels of health care and human services providers

I'm not asking you to compromise your own political beliefs, but if you could find it in your heart to call your state legislator and tell him that you know a really cute kid who needs to have DSPD funded, I'd sure appreciate it. To find your state house representative, go to and click on your district. Keep clicking deeper until you find your house rep.

Thanks so much for your consideration.

Mark Hansen


  1. Jeez... who do I write to from out of state? Somebody needs to be smacked over there...

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  4. Oy. Three comments, two deleted. I deleted in fear that what I wrote would be misunderstood. Try it again.

    My thought is this:

    We need to help those who cannot help themselves. We need give that help in a way that is not base or the least, but help provide a quality of life.

    The drug companies, the equipment makers, the whole of it all are charging the American public much more than they do other countries. These same companies receive government grants (YOUR tax money given to them without having to pay it back) for their research. The trouble with that is you never benefit from your research investment, YOU pay twice, and with a huge profit to them. When is the last time we saw a drug or medical equipment company fail? They don't.

    Write and ask for programs and services to remain, but also ask them to reconsider who they give grants to. There is no need for us to pay twice for life sustaining services, products, or medicine. These companies need to reduce their profit margins in the name of common decency. No one should have to beg for life saving help.

    Obviously from the two prior comments I could go on. But I'll stop here. Thanks.

  5. Mark,

    Thanks for putting some perspective on the type and volume of cuts we are facing as a state. This is really going to be a challenging time for our state legislature. Best of luck with all of this.



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