I am mad. So just know that up front. I am angry. I am furious. I am indignant. I am livid. I am irate. I am incensed. I am outraged.
I am agitated because I just read an article about Pediatric Legislative Day here in Alabama, which was yesterday, Tuesday, April 3, 2012. It was written by one of the pediatricians who drove all the way to Montgomery to attend – a six-hour round trip. It was a trip that did not end well. Oh I’m sure she saw some old friends and shared news and maybe even talked a little football, but they got nowhere with the legislators who had already made up their mind.
The bottom line is that the Governor and legislature of the State of Alabama have thrown the children of this state under the bus. This isn’t exactly news. In fact it’s more like par for the course. We already have some of the worst schools in the nation (although they will proudly tout that we’ve really improved.) This from people who don’t put their own children in the public schools because they are so bad.
This time the attacks are on healthcare. The past few years the legislature has been eroding the amount of money they are willing to spend on Medicaid. Folks, I am convinced they are planning to eliminate it entirely. No Medicaid in Alabama. No healthcare for kids. Do you have any idea how many children in this state depend on Medicaid? I don’t want a single comment about whether or not they deserve it. They do. It’s not their fault they are in need.
But even if I can’t convince you that losing all Medicaid will hurt this state because even poor children deserve minimal healthcare, let me run this past you: With no Medicaid, the pediatricians will be leaving and moving to other states and the children’s hospitals will close. Even children who have fabulous insurance will not get the healthcare they need in Alabama. I got these shocking possibilities from an article called “Alabama: No State for Children”. I still haven’t figured out how to put links in this blog. Sorry about that, but if you Google it you should get there.
Folks, it’s easy for the Governor and legislature of Alabama to ignore the needs of our children because children don’t vote, and without us children do not have a voice. This is not a partisan problem. All sides are guilty. In Alabama politics money talks and it’s all about getting the votes.
By letting this continue, we as a state are betraying our children. Make no mistake, they are all our children and they deserve a chance to grow up without worrying about vaccinations or breaking a bone or running a sky-high fever.
They also deserve a chance to at least learn to read and write in a school that is not falling down around their ears and with teachers who don’t have to buy their school supplies out of their own pockets. Anyone that tells you teachers make too much money is either stupid or just lying to you. Ditto for those who insist that the education we provide in Alabama is just fine or the best we can do. We must do better.
Today’s reading is Matthew 26: 14-25. What will you give me if I betray him to you? They gave him 30 pieces of silver. And promised him the election in the fall.