Wednesday, June 22, 2005

It started with Enron...*

That’s not entirely true, I supposed, that it started with whatever idiot-fuck decided that deregulating the power industry in California would be a good idea…thus setting the stage for Enron to gouge California power prices. This, in turn, created a financial crisis for Pacific Gas & Electric, our state’s utility, and resulted in bankruptcy. But when a public utility goes bankrupt, the debt doesn’t go away. And despite the fact that Enron is now defunct, and clearly negligent, the gold state of California is now having to deal with large debt (there are probably other aspects of this…but this is the big one that blows my steam!).

So in walks our Governator, Ah-nold I-married-a-Shiver Schwartzeneggar, who has big ideas about saving the state which involve repealing the increase in car registration fees (because no one fucks with our cars, of course, even when it means increased revenue to the state), closing fire stations (clearly redundant in a state rife with wildfires), cutting back on state worker’s pensions, and slashing social services to the elderly and medically needy.

And it is this last that is making my day a very bad one. I knew this was coming. There’ve been reports for months about services that would be cut, but here’s where the idiocy has led us. I have a patient who has medical problems – big ones. He needs help bathing and cooking and cleaning, and he has no family who can come in to help. So I call In Home Supportive Services to make a referral…this is not a quick fix because in the past it has taken about 2 months for patients to get evaluated and start receiving services. But today, when I called, I was told 6 months. 6 months…and they can expedite this, if the patient is judged terminal or has an urgent need, back to the 2 month time period.

So here I sit, thinking we, the state of California, are the 6th largest economy in the world. We are fucking wealthy, but we let our most vulnerable people wait for 6 months before we can give them help to hire someone at $9.00 an hour to help them cook, clean and bathe.

It just pisses me off. I’m going to have to start writing some letters, clearly.

*This post was written yesterday, but I couldn't log onto Blogger, for some reason, to post it.


Aravis said...

It always seems to be those who need help the most who get crapped all the time. I worked for 4 years with teens with developmental disabilities, and trying to get them the equipment, etc. that they needed was always a monumental task. Kids who shouldn't have, often had to do without for months at a time. One kid with a bone disorder that made them fragile and brittle, and who had scoliosis, underwent a growth spurt and could no longer fit into a molded plastic body jacket anymore. As tall and thin as he was, we were told that we had to put him on a diet so that he could fit into his old jacket for another year, because the state was unwilling to pay for a new one yet!

Anyway, all of this is just to say that I understand your frustration. I hope things get better soon!

Le moine perdu said...

thus the gap continues to widen. oops, not supposed to say that, am I? we're supposed to like, belieeeeeve in America, how "it's getting better all the time"... pretty much the same shit happening over here though...