Kansas Governor Sam Brownback Kicking Disabled Off Medicaid

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback took time out of his busy schedule of self-loathing homosexuality to remind himself who America’s real enemy are: the poor and disabled.

Brownback, whose disastrous Teabagger policies have caused much damage to Kansas directed his Koch-snorting, modern-day Robespierre ire at the most vulnerable on life-sustaining services. During Brownback’s mouth-foaming reign of teabagger terror, more than 1,400 Kansans with disabilities have been thrown off the Medicaid physical disability (PD) waiver.  And then in January of 2013, Brownback became the first governor to wholly privatize Medicaid, which is something that Paul Ryan could only pray to the ghost of Ayn Rand for. Naturally, Brownback claimed the action would save the state $1 billion in 5 years without having to cut services, eligibility, or provider payments. The problem, of course, is that actual real life human beings (not the pretend ones) are facing the consequences of Brownbacks cuts.

They wanted to cut my full-time care hours by 76 percent, which all three of my doctors said was totally unrealistic,” said Finn Bullers, a disability rights advocate who suffers from muscular dystrophy, uses a wheelchair, has type 1 insulin-dependent diabetes, and requires a ventilator (Think Progress)

Worse yet, these are not optional services.

“Often, these are not optional services,” said Rocky Nichols, executive director of the Kansas Disability Rights Center. “These are life-sustaining services like properly caring for and cleaning out feeding tubes, colostomy bags, and other devices so people don’t die, transferring the person with a mobility impairment from the chair so they can toilet, assisting with the critical and life-sustaining activities of daily living that most of us take for granted. These are basic human needs, not optional wants.” (Think Progress)

To give you a little context, Kansas served 6,752 people on the PD waiver before Brownback’s inauguration. But once Brownback took over, an uptick in new enrollees came to a grinding halt.

 “It is mind-boggling to think that in 2004, just ten years ago, there were 4,527 people on the waiver… It grew to 6,752, and it’s been in a death spiral ever since then,” Nichols said. “That cannot be an accident. There is just no way you can have, year after year, for four years in a row, those types of reductions in the number of people served.” (Think Progress)

It seems these dramatic cutbacks are a direct consequence of Broanback’s radical tax cuts, which have obliterated the state budget. State Senator Laura Kelly strongly feels that there exists suck a link.

“I think it’s hard to divorce the tax cuts from anything that’s happening in Kansas’ state government,” Sen. Kelly said.  (Think Progress)

Much like New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Brownback seeks to balance the budget on the backs of the poor and middle class–and now disabled. It gives them and Fox News viewers the allusion that they’re actually taking down evil, Kenyan socialist government when they’re really just screwing up their state’s future finances.

Brownback is currently facing reelection and his Democratic challenger, Paul Davis, is proving to be a legitimate challenger. Davis’ moderate stances are turning traditional Republican voters away from the deranged teabagger governor.

H/T: Think Progress

Featured Image Courtesy of Slate.com

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