16 July 2005

Rally in Support of Protest

Rii'cher in Starkville, Mississippi

Dorothy Bishop has a beef to pick, so do most of us who receive medicaid coverage (or lack thereof) for medication.  The MAJOR difference is that this 62 year old woman stepped up to the plate to grab the public's and representatives' attention.  Or rather she lay down, upon the bed she made, on the porch of Oktibbeha County's Courthouse.

See, last year Haley Barbour and the Merry Band of Mississippi's Legislature decided that receipients of both medicaid and medicare don't really need both.  So, he dropped medicaid benefits, affecting over 65,000 constituents directly.  This does not take into account their families, care-providers, etc.  B'bye to services besides absence of medications.  Services like, oxygen tanks, dialysis, diabetes supplies, and more were poof! gone.

If THAT weren't enough, medicaid has been cut this year (actually this month, and we only got notice about it mid-June, wonderful, eh?).  Among other changes, we now are limited to coverage of a MAXIMUM of five (5) prescriptions per month, with a MAXIMUM of two (2) of those being name-brand.  Most pharmaceutical companies that do offer assistance to the indegent, have criteria such as you cannot have any prescription coverage at all.  So for those of us with medicaid, even though coverage is severely inadequate, we cannot qualify for most other programs.

Not only was this not a smart move socially, ethically, etc.; but Barbour cut his nose off to spite his face.  The largest demographic to put him in office are those very folks now hurting because of his legislature's actions.  Elderly, disabled, and poor be damned is the message most of us are hearing loud and clear.

I myself am prescribed more than the allotted five and more than two are brand-name, because there is no generic alternative.  And you probably already guessed that most of my meds are not cheap.  About $500 worth of medication passes over my lips per month.  Three of my medications are about $100 each.

So, today, there is a rally protesting legislation and the cut-backs.  Supporters of Bishop won't be alone at the courthouse.  In fact, I'm fairly sure that we'll see a nice crowd of people representing various demographics. Young, old, disabled, single, family, working class, professionals, white, black, hispanics, and college students will be there.

I hope it does SOME good, although I have my doubts.  Call me cynically jaded if you must, but the truth is North Mississippi doesn't seem to exist to the folks calling the shots down in Jackson.  Not surprised, just disappointed.

1 comment:

  1. @$@^*%G*$*()%$# politicians and be damned with politics. I only wish some of them were brave enough to "walk a mile and spend a day" in others shoes!  Anne


Thanks for taking the time and effort to let your thoughts be known!