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 Florida Governor Orders Immediate Cuts To Programs For The Disabled

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PostSubject: Florida Governor Orders Immediate Cuts To Programs For The Disabled   Sun Apr 03, 2011 8:52 pm

Gov. Rick Scott orders immediate cuts to programs for disabled







Florida Gov. Rick Scott ordered deep cuts Thursday to programs that serve tens of thousands of residents with Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism and other developmental disabilities.

Though a range of state services face cuts from this year's Legislature, the governor invoked his emergency powers to order the state Agency for Persons with Disabilities to immediately roll back payments to group homes and social workers by 15 percent — an amount providers say could put them out of business and threaten their clients' safety.

"lt's not like, 'Gee, does this mean I have to skip a vacation this year?'" said Amy Van Bergen, executive director of the Down Syndrome Association of Central Florida. "Potentially, these cuts have life and death implications for these people."

An estimated 30,000 Floridians with severe developmental disabilities receive services that help them live outside of nursing homes — typically with family or in small group homes. Aides help them eat, bathe, take medication and otherwise care for themselves.
But the governor said the Agency for Persons with Disabilities' ongoing budget deficit — currently at $170 million — had reached a critical point and needed to be addressed immediately.

The cuts go into effect Friday and last at least through the fiscal year, which ends June 30. Lawmakers are currently debating what will happen after that.

Providers had not been informed of the cuts.

"No one has gotten any notice," said Linda Cumbie, an Orlando social worker who coordinates services that clients need to live outside of a nursing home — which would be a more expensive arrangement for the state. "We have to find out through the newspapers."

Cumbie said funds for the disabled already had been pared back to skeletal levels. She personally is holding a carwash and bake sale to help out one young disabled client so he can attend a daily workshop program.

Katie Porta, president of Quest Inc., which operates a series of group homes and programs for those with disabilities, said provider rates in Florida already rank in the bottom 10 percent for all states.

"We are almost to the point of impossibility in providing for our clients' basic health and safety needs," she said. "I just fear for our people."

She wasn't the only one. Alan McIntosh, a 57-year-old Orlando man with cerebral palsy, relies on an aide to do just about anything requiring movement. "I don't know what he [Gov. Scott] is thinking," McIntosh said. "As it is, I'm just trying to survive."

His aide, Debbie Pascascio, works 24 hours a day, four days in a row, to care for McIntosh and two other people with severe disabilities. Though she did not want to reveal her salary, other aides say $800 a week for round-the-clock care is typical, and many workers receive no health insurance, sick leave or retirement benefits.

APD Chief of Staff Bryan Vaughan said his department had no choice. "These actions are necessary … so that we are not forced to eliminate services to this vulnerable population," he said in a news release issued late Thursday. "APD is committed to protecting the health and safety of Floridians with developmental disabilities while living within our budget."

But at the Threshold Center for Autism in Winter Park, former CEO and current board member Bob Wright said something has to give. Staffers there work with children and adults who are severely impaired and sometimes violent.

"If this were any other workplace, you would consider it a war zone," Wright said. "My staff gets bitten, hit, kicked, spat upon, defecated on, urinated on — for $8.23 an hour. And every time we start talking about giving our guys a pay raise, the governor comes along and cuts the rates."

The center has not had a rate increase for its services since 2005, and it has had several rounds of cuts since then. At the same time, training requirements for staffers have increased.

"The state can cut my rates by 15 percent, but I can't cut my staffing 15 percent or I'll be in violation of staffing ratios," Wright added. "This may break our backs."

Source -- http://www.orlandosentinel.com/features/os-scott-cuts-disabled-20110331,0,7724142.story

From M.o.1 -- If you look back on this forum when Obama care was going through, you will see that we predicted that this would happen. We predicted that the infirm and the elderly would be the first to start losing coverage. It's not that we are super smart or some sort of prophet....we know the history of these people! This is what they do! They did it in Nazi Germany and all over the world. Look back at the rise of the Nazi regime from the beginning all the way to the "endgame" they had...you'll see that we are following this trend. It's not rocket science...it's history.
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PostSubject: Re: Florida Governor Orders Immediate Cuts To Programs For The Disabled   Sun May 22, 2011 12:08 pm

In my state, they closed down the mental hospitals and put the mentally ill out on the streets a few years back. Many of them literally died on the streets. The mentally ill are not capable of caring for themselves. It was a deliberate attempt to mass murder most of the severely mentally ill. And then they hide any statistics or really most anything about how many people died because of this.
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