Haggling over stimulus? It’s absurd - East Valley Tribune: Opinion

Haggling over stimulus? It’s absurd

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Posted: Saturday, March 7, 2009 8:07 pm | Updated: 2:36 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

Lupe Solis: It’s not easy to dismiss the consequences that recent budget cuts are having on vulnerable Arizonans.

It’s not easy to dismiss the consequences that recent budget cuts are having on vulnerable Arizonans.

Patterson: Count the heavy strings tied to federal stimulus money

The elimination of the General Assistance Program, a monthly benefit of $150, means that 1,500 vulnerable individuals will have little if any money for food, transportation, rent or medication.

Most of these people can’t work and are already waiting for disability certification for Social Security. Worse still, a program that provided them with health care coverage through the state Medicaid insurance program has also been eliminated because of budget cuts.

Dual eligibles, those on Medicare and Medicaid, have also seen their co-pays and deductibles cut. These people have income or earnings no higher than 100 percent of the federal poverty level. Cutting their benefits means they are going without medications that help keep their heath or chronic conditions in check.

At a time like this, why is the Legislature haggling over whether or not to accept federal stimulus money? It’s inconceivable that this state would allow one penny of federal stimulus to go elsewhere when so many Arizonans could benefit.

This is no time for political ideology or grandstanding. This is a time for legislators to stand up and do what’s right for the people of this state. Restore these services.

Lupe Solis is the Arizona advocacy director for AARP.

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