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Friday, June 30, 2017

IS THIS HUMANE?

Many years ago, when my first child Ellen was born, I was very proud of her. She was beautiful, a little pink bundle that bore her Mom's first name and my last name. It is a moment of joy but also of the truth. It made me imagine what she would grow to be, what her role in life would become, and also who she would marry. But in all those emotions there was one other thing that occurred to me, I had to provide for her future. I needed to really step up and be a father in practice as well as the name!

The first year of her life was normal and we watched her development as any new parent would all her numbers seemed within the average range including her response to us, she laughed appropriately and likewise cried. Then the following year came crashing down, and with that came the tears and agony of her arresting development. We entered a world of the unknown, uncertainty and as a father who never faced such unimaginable reality, I leaned heavily on my wife. She did the research and the doctor visits, as we were told that our little girl would never be normal, she was brain-damaged from birth, it was against all of our hopes.

Fast forward to today. Ellen lives a comfortable life, she lives with her peers and although she loves us as much as we love her, she is happy to go home to AHRC Suffolk's Intermediate Care Facility in Wading River. She goes to a program 5-days a week, and on weekends goes out into the community or comes home to dinner on Sundays. She has transportation to and from her residence, where she has her own room, lovingly decorated with family pictures and things she enjoys in life. She is happy. All her comfort, medical care, and education come from the auspices of the Medicare/Medicaid offices and AHRC Suffolk Chapter. It is a wonderful gift to the people who suffer from disabilities and their parents and siblings, it is the hand of God reaching down to us through our governments, both the Federal and State. There are regulations in place for their safety and fiscal protection. What Ellen and her peers, family, and friends can't do, we the people do for them.

There is a realization now that is rearing its ugly heart, it comes in the form of one Mitch McConnell and a bunch of his icky ilk with an assist by Donald Trump, President of these great United States. It is an attempt at bringing more profits to big business and doing so by taking Medicaid away from people with disabilities. It is a criminal endeavor, it is ugliness for all its worth, it is the true face of the Devil himself. Taking away Medicaid that helps the individual and giving the savings they accrue from Medicaid to Big Business.

All of us will at some point be faced with the need for services of the kind that Medicare/Medicaid provides, either through our loved ones in nursing homes, hospitals or places where Ellen lives. What will become of these institutions? Many if not all of the homes and agencies like Ellen's will be forced to close down, and the burden will shift to the families, to parents that are so old they can't even get out of their homes! And what happens when the parents die? Who will care for Ellen, who will give her medications? Who will see that she eats slowly and doesn't choke? Who will amuse her, she that she isn't in pain? Mitch McConnell?

If we support this type of legislation, we are punishing people who can't help themselves, who can't fight for themselves and will die from the ugly future the likes of McConnell and his icky ilk will provide for them, all in the name of profits for Big Business.

God help us all, I wonder who is next?

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