Here at Kohl and the Gang, we do our best to be apolitical. But with the elections on Nov 4th looming, we must exploit our vast readership and considerable influence and make a humble plea: Please do not vote for Louisiana Constitutional Amendment No. 1. If you have already voted, congratu- frickin- lations. Pat yourself on the back and go play Dungeons and Dragons on election day instead. Now that we have insulted and isolated those most active participants in our democracy who already voted, here is our plea.
The amendment gives constitutional protections to the Medical Assistance Trust Fund, which funds nursing homes, immediate care facilities and pharmacies. Every time the state cuts its budget, higher education and healthcare are always the first targets. That is because those are currently the only two unprotected areas of the state’s budget. This amendment would change that, at least with respect to those kinds of facilities.
Why do we care
At first glance, this may seem like a sensible idea. But diving a little deeper reveals that passage of this amendment would have negative consequences on vulnerable members of our population like the elderly and people with disabilities. By providing protections for institutional care facilities, it would leave essential services for people with disabilities much more vulnerable to budget cuts.
The Advocacy Center, a nonprofit organization that assists the elderly and special needs kids and adults, lists the following services that would almost certainly be facing budget cuts if this amendment passed:
- Home and community based waiver services that assist seniors and people with disabilities to remain in their own homes
- Individual and family support services for people with disabilities
- Mental health services
- Services provided by Councils on Aging
- Primary care
- Early Intervention for infants and toddlers with disabilities
- Employment supports for people with disabilities
While nursing homes and other institutional facilities provide a valuable service, they also have a strong lobby, and the bottom line is that we are trending away from those services and moving towards home-based care. If given the choice between receiving services in the home versus institutionalized care, I suspect the vast majority of us would prefer services in the home.
Besides, this curmudgeonly fellow does not play well with others, and if he has his drothers, prefers little to no human contact.
So, it goes without saying that putting him in a nursing home, while hilarious, would not be a good idea.
For what it’s worth, the Council for a Better Louisiana, The Advocacy Center and the Times Picayune all recommend voting against this amendment. And if you don’t care about that, Kohl recommends that you vote against this amendment.
And if you ignore our plea, just remember this: Guns don’t kill people:
… toddlers whose parents put fake mustaches on them kill people.
Go vote, people.