Time to Foster Change

You’re Not Fooling Anybody

For the last twenty-five years, I have watched our political system slowly turn into the shit show it is today. Ever since Bush v Gore the polarization of American politics has gotten undeniably worse year after year. Now it is completely clogged to the point we can’t move ahead (pun intended).

The way the government works today seems to have less to do with the wants and needs of the American people and more to do with advancing the political agendas and personal beliefs of those in office. I am dumbfounded at the ease in which some of these so-called leaders have manipulated the system to bulldoze their viewpoints into our state constitutions and statutes.

This has become the new political norm. As long as we continue to tolerate the staunch party lines that run through our governments we will continue having to endure the unfairness that this disproportionate amount of dominance carries with it. Just this week the governor of Florida signed a bill to revoke the state’s decades-old resign to run law making a smooth path for himself as he takes aim at the presidency.

With a swipe of a pen he  and his majority were able to contrive a new law that will allow him to run for president, yet save his seat should he come up short. Clearly taking advantage of his position, power, and political party majority all the while trying to convince Floridians this change will benefit others not just him. Do politicians actually believe they possess some higher form of intellect than the rest of us?

Is it ignorance or cockiness that blinds them to the fact they are manipulating laws to further their own personal agenda. This type of behavior is actually quite scary because when does it stop? Who is to say that near the end of his current term he doesn’t decide to change the gubernatorial term limit, which currently happens to be 2 consecutive 4-year terms.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I for one become very nervous when the majority of congressional members and senators are affiliated with the same political party as the heads of state. Because unyielding power stemming from a limited few is not only unsettling, it’s dangerous and unhealthy for a democracy like ours.

Here I am discussing politics once again. Unfortunately, I can’t get away from it because some of the government agencies overseen by these very politicians I speak of, play a significant part in my child’s upbringing. When my son became a ward of the state he became entitled to various assistance from the government.

Medicaid, being one of these benefits. Now you would think that there would be a clear record of which type of assistance my son had been deemed eligible for having been in the foster care system since birth. Yet, just this month in my email I found this notice: “Our records indicate that after the end of the month your child may no longer be covered by Medicaid.

If you believe your child still qualifies for Medicaid, contact Florida Department of Children and Families as soon as possible.”  So for weeks I have been attempting to make contact with my child’s health care provider and DCF. Guess what? No response. I have tried the DCF help line at all hours of the day, different days of the week. I listen to a recorded message and remain on hold for…well, let’s just say the longest I left my phone on speaker was 33 minutes before giving up.

So, now I have to hold my breath and hope that when I go to use his medicaid card to refill necessary prescriptions or pay for much needed therapy sessions that it still works. The last time it was cut off, I had to go through a lengthy appeal process just to get back what was rightfully promised to him in the first place.

So, why is this? Can you imagine if the same kind of treatment was directed at Social Security or Medicare recipients? Can you see the government even attempting the redetermination of  social security benefits or medicare benefits?  How well do you think that would go over with the tens of millions of retired folks? It wouldn’t, because you’re dealing with individuals who are most likely to vote. Medicaid recipients on the other hand are mostly children, poor, and disabled. None of which are likely to make it to the polls on Election Day.

Our government (made up of politicians) is just as human as the rest of us in that it can’t help but to play favorites. Just like parents, teachers, coaches, bosses, well most of us I suppose, don’t we all have a best friend. We all have a tendency to like what we like. And the government is no exception. It wants to keep as many of the voters that think just like them content and happy.

The government doesn’t like to mess with things that would cause major blow back. You know the old saying, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. So when looking to cut spending, they of course, are going to target those benefits, programs, agencies, and organizations that don’t sound the alarm. I’m sure that my calls went unanswered at DCF because they are understaffed and ill equipped to handle such a task as redetermination.

I have stated in previous blogs that child welfare and related concerns are not high on the list of federal or state governments. This is glaringly obvious when you look at the budget amounts set aside each year for these social issues. We can’t expect much from those that aren’t given enough to begin with. Nothing good can come from necessary systems run on a shoestring.  Agencies start to fail, essential programs disappear, benefits are cut, well-deserved recipients suffer. 

Eventually, there will be nothing left to take from the most vulnerable. You can’t continue to cut from an already dismal amount. Soon the government will have to target another source, most likely a demographic not likely to vote. It might be Medicaid this go round, but next time it may well be something that greatly matters to you.