Quote from yesterday’s rally at the State House on behalf of the disabled:
COFAR President David J. Hart presided, pointing to two budget cuts under $200,000 each that affected hundreds or thousands of disabled people, one to the Disabled Persons Protection Commission, the other to the Tufts Dental Facilities program. Hart showed pictures of a Jamaica Plain mansion recently purchased for $900,000 by a non-profit provider as a likely example of a “bailout” and “sweetheart deal” for providers in the new state spending to open group home capacity for people to be transferred out of Fernald and the other three developmental centers slated for closure. “If governor Patrick steered favorable financing and a guaranteed state lease to a private for-profit company with $395,587 per year CEO — the newspapers and TV stations would be all over it. He might be impeached. Instead, the same basic insider deal minus the campaign contributions is presented to us as ‘an investment.'”
For more info, go to: http://www.cofar.org/
As “JohnD” said, some are making a lot of money out of tough times. But the closing of Fernald, rather than saving money, is all about ideology – and profit to some.
The Disabled Persons Protection Commission is all that there is to oversee the care of adult cognitively limited citizens in group homes, or the frail elderly. If you suspect abuse, they are who must be called. See: http://www.mass.gov/?pageID=dp… cuts that mean that investigations don’t happen because there are only two investigators for the whole state are going to cost lives, should this indeed occur.
My thanks to Senator Eldridge for the legislation he filed as a representative, to strengthen the DPPC: http://www.mass.gov/?pageID=dp…
Can someone clarify the status of this legislation, whether ongoing, refilled, or “dead” at the end of the last legislative session?
Also, the residents of Fernald and their families were promised a group home on the grounds of the Glavin Center. That promise turns out to be an illusion, even though there are no “cost savings”:
Today your battle is about whether the families and individuals retain the right to remain in the homes that were theirs when the battles were won in the 1970s. The Department and myself, as recently as six months ago, made promises to people coming out of Fernald Center that they could live in state-operated homes on the grounds of the Glavin regional center, and the Glavin Regional Center would be there to support them, as an ICF. The people made that choice from Fernald in good faith; I believe they made a great choice. And now they are going to take that away some few months later, and I in all good conscience tell you: That is not right. That is a promise broken. Help me out, and make this promise great.”
Dr. Bacotti also disputed the claims of cost savings, but also their importance, “On the question of savings, I was talking to a budget aide to [leading Senator], I heard that it has been revised down to a ‘budget neutral’ No savings, probably a euphemism for ‘likely to cost money.’ The numbers are not important. Because it should not be about saving a few dollars. It should not be about saving $41 million dollars. Stay focused. Yours are families with individuals that need you to advocate, and without you that advocacy just disappears, and so they will be moved by some bureaucracy without your input or theirs. You must advocate. It is not a choice; that is a moral obligation.”
Will we collectively stand with Cain, over his brother’s body, and deny that we are our brother’s keepers?
In that Biblical Story, Cain murdered his brother and then took his brother’s crops and so forth, and denied any wrong doing, stating that he was not his “brother’s keeper”.
Morally, it is the duty of adults to take care of children, and of the able to take care of those who cannot care for themselves. Without that axiom being upheld, the social compact falls apart, and there will not only be lives destroyed, but a return to the law of the jungle where in a socially Darwinian way, the predatory flourish, and those who need supports or act out of charity, are left to shoulder impossible burdens – and potentially founder.
To look away is to become an accomplice in the destruction of lives – and of the social compact itself. “Natural Law” as the Founding Fathers used the term relied on morality on the part of those in governance.