Governor Rick Perry announced on CNN’s State of the Union his possible plans to opt Texas out of Medicaid/Medicare to reduce money received from the federal government. As the governor made his media rounds to promote his book and determine the national climate in regards to his presidential aspirations, he once again put his own interests ahead of Texas. Around 25% of Texans are covered by either Medicaid or Medicare, so to eliminate low-income medical assistance would continue to devastate those adversely impacted by the recession and desolate an already impoverished community. For AIDS patients, this could be a death sentence because taking medicine on a rigid schedule is critical, experts say, missing any doses gives the virus a chance to become resistant to the drugs.
Recently, Florida Department of Health dropped about 350 uninsured HIV/AIDS patients from a federally funded program that pays for all or most of their drugs, because of a budget crisis. “We are playing with people’s lives here,” said Michael Rajner, of Fort Lauderdale, an HIV-positive activist. The mid-term proved very successful for Republican but could prove to be a major setback for minority groups in terms of federally funded programs. Below is a breakdown of communities requiring low-income medical assistance.
Texans on Medicare or Medicaid (Total population numbers):
- 8.1% are unemployed (Over half are Black & Hispanic)
- 38% are children (64% of Texas’ Medicaid population)
- 18.4% are infected with HIV/AIDS (5.2% part privately insured & 4.1% uninsured)
- 13% Elderly (70% are women)
According to statistics from the American Recovery and Reinvestment’s stimulus monitoring website, Governor Perry’s office – (Fiscal) was dispensed $62,699,477.92 of the 18 billion dollars of stimulus money accepted by Texas. Governor Perry’s office can accept stimulus funds but will decline federal money to improve the lives of children and HIV patients. This is unacceptable! If one child or AIDS patient dies as a result of this decision, the blood is on the hands of Rick Perry.
As impoverished communities struggle to make ends meet, Governor Perry continues the Republican Party’s big business nexus sending our jobs oversees turning the American dream into a very real middle-class nightmare. Many of these corporations actually filed regular corporate taxes before 2001, and are now exploiting a loophole by changing their tax status to pay as “individuals” specifically because Bush cut individual rates. Texas college students may also be impacted by the new congressional shift. Republicans could block bills aimed at for-profits and attempt to overturn the administration’s proposed “gainful employment” rule, which would penalize programs whose graduates carry unmanageable levels of debt.
The new healthcare law provided $11 billion for community health centers to serve 20 million more low-income people, including many expected to gain coverage under the law. Many Republicans, including former President Bush have supported such clinics. The bill also provided has provided money to states to help them get ready — to scrutinize increases in insurance premiums and to set up regulated markets known as insurance exchanges. My new motto: “IMPEACH PERRY!” Let Texas be the first to send a message to the new Republican congress and any other politician that wants to make it their business to ignore the suffering of middle-class Americans.
Co-founder of Get Equal Now
(C.D. Kirven is a Lambda Literary nominated author of the book, “What Goes Around Comes Back Around”. She is board member of DFW Pride Movement and an LGBT rights activist. In addition, she is an artist who has had artwork was shown at the Butch Voices Conference in Oakland, CA and in the December 2009 issue of Curve magazine. She also created the first LGBT cell phone documentary about same sex intimate partner abuse. She has an online clothing line at www.zazzle.com/cdkirven and is editing her online reality show about her life called: “SOULPRINT”. Ms. Kirven is currently working on a non-fiction lesbian rights manifesto, “The Glass Closet” and a documentary. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org, http://cdkirven.blogspot.com or www.facebook.com/chastitykirven.)