Till We Bleed

Dear Legislator,

 

Imagine getting a phone call one early morning informing you that your dear Grandmother is being evicted out of her nursing home due to its forced closure and she and all of her things need to be obtained by 3 pm that same day. Not mentioning that your Grandmother is a 100% total care individual and requires around the clock supervision, routine medications and close medical attention, something that you could not safely (or financially afford to) provide in your home 24 hours a day, 7 days a week 365 days a year.

Long Term Care Word Cloud

What did she do to deserve this? She worked her entire life, she provided for her family and now she is unable to care for herself.

I want you to truly try to imagine how you would feel and the thoughts that you would have. Hold onto those thoughts and feelings.

Now, imagine getting a phone call one early morning informing you that you no longer have a job because the nursing home that you have worked at for 10 years is being forced to close. No notice, no severance, no explanation other than “budget cuts”. You have a family, you have children, you have bills coming in every month, mouths to feed (and they are always hungry). What did you do to deserve this? You work hard, you strive to do the best you can for your family and now this?

nurseoutofjob

signs-nurse-burnout

Do you feel that; that little feeling in your gut, the sinking gut wrenching FEAR feeling?

That very fear is VERY close to becoming a reality for hundreds of our fellow Oklahomans. You think this doesn’t affect you? You’re dead wrong.

Now let me tell you why:

The proposed additional 25% cut to Medicaid reimbursement that is currently being proposed will be devastating to our health care system in Oklahoma. The cuts will force closures and reductions in service levels for those hospitals, physician practices and nursing homes that are already scraping by and living on the edge. All Oklahomans will suffer as a result of additional cuts.

The previous 11% cuts implemented since July 2014 have left our already crumbling health care system in an even more perilous and vulnerable position.  The thought that we can sustain any more cuts without a huge impact is completely ludicrous. For the 42 Oklahoma hospitals and 269 nursing facilities “at risk” of closure ‐‐ additional cuts WILL push them over that cliff.

Our most vulnerable citizens will be without care: employees will be without jobs and the state would lose millions in jobs and wages. How does this make any plausible sense to anyone?

Instead of dismantling health care and a core economic driver for our State, there is another, clear solution.

We must implement a responsible increase in the Cigarette Tax, and support “Insure Oklahoma”, a plan to claim the federal dollars we’re leaving on the table – and use the funds to expand access to health care in our state.

In the face of such a devastating situation I sincerely hope you will agree that a new tax which discourages smoking and will ultimately save lives is preferable to government cuts that will most surely cause unnecessary deaths, loss of wages, increased unemployment (which draws on government aid…), and severe stress within every community.

Failure to do this will result in the closure of additional hospitals and nursing homes across the State at a time that many physicians are choosing to leave the profession and young people interested in medicine are already choosing specialties other than health care. The crisis to find healthcare providers is already all too real for much of rural Oklahoma.

The effects of further cuts will be felt for years to come and will be absolutely disastrous.

Please stand up for all Oklahomans. Implement a responsible increase in the Cigarette Tax which will discourage smoking, and ultimately save lives, our health care system and our economy. And then expand access to health care in Oklahoma by supporting “Insure Oklahoma” – our states program to help provide affordable health coverage to Oklahomans. More than 90% of the money will come from the federal government.

It’s our money — we need to take it back to improve access to health care in our state. In the long term, building on Insurance Oklahoma will save the state money, and stabilize our health care system.

We voted you in believing you would do what is best for Oklahoma, what is best for Oklahomans and I urge you, I beg you:
Do everything in your power to put a stop to the 25% Medicaid cut.

stethcut

Let’s make Oklahoma better. Support the Cigarette Tax, and “Insure Oklahoma” and STOP the cut.

 

Sincerely,

 

Liz Jackson

 

Local Political Leaders Contact Info

Name Phone Email

Rep. Steve Vaughn (405) 557‐7355 steve.vaughan@okhouse.gov

Rep. John Pfeiffer (405) 557‐7332 john.pfeiffer@okhouse.gov

Sen. Eddie Fields (405) 521‐5581 efields@oksenate.gov

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