J. Wilson: DHHS cuts are short-sighted

A lot of attention has been given to the governor's proposed cuts to MaineCare. There is one area of cuts that will actually cost taxpayers much more in the long run.

Targeted case managers are available to a very limited number of MaineCare recipients. I have been blessed beyond measure because one has been provided to me.

I was assigned a manager to help me deal with my HIV. In addition to HIV, I am living with cancer, anemia, seizures, migraines and multiple other issues. When all of my medical issues collided, I was overwhelmed and unable to find the medical care or access the services I needed and the Maine CDC referred to me to a manager through St. Mary's Regional Medical Center.

She was able to get me enrolled in MaineCare, refer me to the seven doctors I now see, assist me with rent and food, and has become a great friend and source of support.

If the governor is successful in eliminating funding for targeted case management, most managers will be unemployed. This means that the services my manager was able to find for me will either not be available or will be available only through emergency room services or other, more costly means.

The bills for these services will be paid by the state during the same budget period the proposed cuts are supposed to be enacted.

The Legislature must consider the real cost behind these cuts. It simply must not allow the governor to succeed.

John Wilson, Greene

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Comments

Jack Tetreault's picture

DHHS Budget

We all know that there are people who really must have a helping hand and there are those (too many) who game the system. If we could effectively manage the system, culling out the mis-users, much money would be saved and there would possibly be no need to cut from those who need help. There is a large difference between those who need help and those who will not help themselves. Unfortunately when cuts come it's those who need help that get hurt; and those who game the system keep chugging on with having their bills paid by the tax payer.

When we begin refusing to pay for care to those who use drugs and commit crimes: and really enforcing the requirement that food stamps are to be used for food not booze of every kind than we will make a large dent in the cost of welfare.

Remember welfare is not a right it is help that is given from people who care. What Hope Haven is doing is a great example.

Mark Elliott's picture

Simple question John, where

Simple question John, where do you suggest we cut instead?

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Mark, The answer to that

Mark,
The answer to that question is simple. If the Government overspends by 40%, then all departments get a budget reduction of 40%.

I would rather see Congress cut the fat and unnecessary (perhaps all) subsidies; however, given that they are incompetent, the simple approach – across the board cuts – is the answer in my opinion.

Mark

Mark Elliott's picture

I agree Mark, but I was

I agree Mark, but I was trying to get our liberal friends here to come up with something.......epic fail on my part even believing there might be a reasonable answer in their heads.

Mark Elliott's picture

seems your definition of

seems your definition of "wealthy" is.....um.....nonexistent!

Mark Elliott's picture

No, I've been perfectly

No, I've been perfectly willing to discuss this with you but you refuse to throw a number on the table that we can use. You seem to believe you know what "wealthy" is, but where does it START?

MARK GRAVEL's picture

How to debate ....

Talking this some on this blog and this youtube video have a lot in common. Can you spot the similarities?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5ZvQsP48pQ&feature=related

MARK GRAVEL's picture

It is up to Patti to decide

It is up to Patti to decide whether to ban me or not.

But you did still view the video after my warning of inappropriate content!

Mark Elliott's picture

I posted that on facebook

I posted that on facebook last week, THEN watched the entire thing.......shame on us!

MARK GRAVEL's picture

My bad. I’ve asked the SJ

My bad. I’ve asked the SJ staff to pull the URL.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Please pull the above URL on

Please pull the above URL on my behalf.

Please accept my apology for posting the URL until I screened the entire video.

There is inappropriate language toward the end of the video.

Mark Gravel

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Warning, there is some

Warning, there is some inappropriate language at the end of this video that I was unaware of.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Warning, there is some

Warning, there is some appropriate language at the end of this video that I was unaware of.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Who is greedy here Dan? I am

Who is greedy here Dan?

I am not wealthy, but it is not I who is asking for more money from others. It is you. You are really living in an upside-down world aren’t you!

What is the pot calling the kettle again? So what is it Dan? What is wealth to you? We are listening.

Mark Elliott's picture

In this case though, it is

In this case though, it is the DHHS budget that is out of whack and he wants to cut 120m from it......they are now trying to determine where........but yes, if they just cut a % across the board and let all DHHS departments work within that, it might be less stressful.

Mark Elliott's picture

You are vehemently avoiding

You are vehemently avoiding this question Dan.....I am merely asking your opinion, which you gladly force on us every day, but for some reason you do not wish to give it on this one simple question: At what annual salary would you "rescind" the tax cut and put them back at 8.5%??

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Mark, Dan and others of

Mark,
Dan and others of similar mindset will not put numbers to paper since they know it will not make sense. It is better to keep the assertion floating in the ether-space for that reason. The motive is not to make a cogent argument but rather attack based on emotion – the emotion of envy and greed.

DONALD FERLAND's picture

How about making the federal

How about making the federal government actually pay for their mandates? Join forces with other states and say " WE WILL NOT PAY FOR YOUR MANDATES AND WILL DO WHAT IS BEST FOR OUR PEOPLE" I bet that would save lots of money especially in education. The feds tell the states to do things on a daily basis and then they do not pay for it....let's start at the very top and make them fund what they tell us to do.

Mark Elliott's picture

Tina, we have joined forces,

Tina, we have joined forces, in our constitutional amendment #10! How about instead of making the feds pay for the things they are forcing the states to do, we simply demand the feds honor our tenth amendment and stop trying to force it's power unto the states.......

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Dan, I challenge you to show

Dan,

I challenge you to show the math. Just like when you said the State should tax the rich $500.00 year to close a $120M budget shortfall. Your intent was to tax the 1%, but your math worked out to really tax 50% of the tax base.

Here is a cut-n-paste from my previous response:

“There are about 445K taxpayers in the State of Maine. Now if you tax the “rich” $500.00 per year to cover a $120M shortfall, then you’ll need about 240K taxpayers to pony up $500.00 per year.”

Given your track record, you need to show the math. Otherwise, we’ll assume you are dishing out partisanship.

Mark

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Fixed Typo

Dan,
The $150M tax relief affects individuals at pretty much all income levels. That is why you cannot close the $120M shortfall without touching a large number of taxpayers.

Mark Elliott's picture

He wants to tax the rich more

He wants to tax the rich more than the current 7.95% but in the past he has said the rich do not pay their fair share........actually, they pay more. He wants to rescind the tax cut ONLY on the wealthy to fund the 120m shortfall but will NOT specify what is "wealthy". Apparently he believes everybody between $19950.00 per year and "wealthy" (whatever that number is, he won't say) only account for the $30m difference between the 120m shortfall and the 150m tax cut..........doubt it, but they are HIS dreams.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Dan, The $150M tax relief

Dan,
The $150M tax relief affects individuals at pretty much all income levels. That is way you cannot close the $120M shortfall without touching a large number of taxpayers.

Mark Elliott's picture

Just keep in mind, the higher

Just keep in mind, the higher salary you set that bracket, the smaller the population within that bracket gets so the higher you would need to set the tax rate to make up for it.........so let me ask you this, do you really believe that increasing the tax rate only on the rich will fund the 120 million DHHS shortfall all by itself when the ENTIRE tax cut (middle and upper class) totaled 150 million? You'd either have to set that bracket real low, which it already was, OR set the tax rate so damn high you'd never get support enough to pass it and if you did our rich WILL leave state, taking with them, those tax dollars.........

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Dan, I’m a bit perplexed with

Dan,

I’m a bit perplexed with your math!

If the income tax code is altered, but is revenue neutral, you have the same amount of money to spend on services.

How does this fix anything?

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Dan, Please refresh my memory

Dan,
Please refresh my memory as to what I forgot.

Mark Elliott's picture

You amaze me sometimes Dan,

You amaze me sometimes Dan, first you think I'm rich, now you think I am the governor. What next?

This is the first time you've mentioned the "democratic plan" so I am calling you on it. Show me the "democratic plan".....if it's anything like what we've had the last 4 decades then I'm glad we destroyed it.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Mark, You know Dan is fibbing

Mark,
You know Dan is fibbing when he mentions “Democratic Plan” and “revenue natural” in the same post.

Mark Elliott's picture

as I said, "if it's anything

as I said, "if it's anything like what we've had the last 4 decades then I'm glad we destroyed it."

Mark Elliott's picture

Ditto, at what salary level

Ditto, at what salary level should be "rescind" the tax?? What salary do you consider "wealthy"?

ERNEST LABBE's picture

And The Gov

Got the idea from Obama Care.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Any piece of legislation that

Any piece of legislation that is crafted in secrecy and is thousands of pages long cannot be good.

One must also ask who will pay for this “Affordable Care”?

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