Dr. Spudman44

Dr. Spudman44
Tumbleweed, Washington,
June 06
Dr. Spudman's 44 Ripples of Hope Creations
BANNER BY RICTRESA I live on the border of Eastern Washington and Idaho. I have been a teacher, coach, and mental health worker. I make books for people and write some myself. I tutor a few people. Come visit me at my website. It has some cool stuff. Scroll down to links and click on www.drspud44.net


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FEBRUARY 25, 2009 1:13PM

Any One Have a Dull Knife? Lost Half my Salary Today.

Rate: 61 Flag


                            Hey, go ahead, jab that dull thing right up my ass.


Well, it looks like I just got my ass kicked today. The state of Idaho Legislature has just slashed the Medicaid budget even though they have been given millions from President Obama's stimulus package. Doesn't matter, they went on with cuts anyway. This is not a headline or article that I can gloss over and just go about my business. This round of cuts has reduced my hours with clients in half and capped services at five hours per week per client. My little business went from being a successful enterprise to a marginal one in just a few minutes. The changes take place as soon as the legislative session is completed. Anyone have a dull knife?


I was shocked. My partner and I have a small little business. She and her one worker have about a dozen clients and I have six more severe, needy clients in my region. I make, or made, very good money but have tons of expenses as my clients live in remote areas which means lots of travel. I sometimes travel over 600 miles per week. If gas prices go up this summer too much I will be done.

Well, poor me. You may suggest I call 1-800-BOO-HOO which is okay, as I have been lucky for quite some time, and maybe even a bit cocky. I am not cocky anymore. But I will survive. I know how to be poor. It gets harder when you get my age. I will be 59 in June and starting some new enterprise or  new job is more difficult.   I don't have the energy or gusto to start all over again. I work with the mentally ill which is a frivolity that society can no longer afford.  My clients and I are not important.  They will just build more prisons  and since I am in the private sector, the marketplace has made its choice, they will tell me.    

I have no health care. I am one of the 47 million frighteningly performing  the highwire feat of trying to stay healthy; walking the tightrope without looking down.  We know there is no net.   Many of us are attempting this trick.  We ignore the pain in the legs, the little dizzy spells, the trouble with peeing, the frequent  headaches and cross our fingers  and wish for the best.   We hope that they are not  signs of something serious.  Yet, we know that the body sends signals for a reason.  So, we live with this nagging fear, this psychic constant dull toothache and the voice that whispers off in the distance that today may be the day.  The one in which  you collapse some where and the book of what was  your life will just slam shut.  

 I just went completely blind in my left eye and need $3500 to get an operation that may or may not restore my vision. I had some health insurance, but it cost so much monthly and the deductible was $5000 so basically it was just a mini-catastrophic prevention deal. I eat Aleve all the time because my teeth hurt.  I have Hepatitis C, which I mostly ignore.  I know that I am not alone or anything really special, as many are suffering.  I am not greedy.  I just want fifteen more years.  That will be enough.  Then put  me on the ice flow, if there is any ice left,and  give me a  gentle push. I will gladly drift off without one bit of fuss. I will even wave.   


In my little area, I now see beggars. Eight of them on the streets, or near the Costco and Wal-Mart entrances. I saw a family sleeping under one of our bridges while I was on a walk the other day and our area is pretty good statistically. These are new sights for this area. Never seen anyone begging on the streets here before, ever. This thing is getting serious.


But we are the "Greatest country in the world."  That sad phrase is like the aging starlet, her scars and imperfections covered with too much makeup, heading out to perform,  the same old songs and echoing the same old lines, still thinking herself  gorgeous and captivating.  "Greatest country in the world" - No, more like the once powerful home run slugger who digs in his cleats in the batter's box dramatically only to weakly ground to second.  Barack, please hurry, man we can only keep our fingers in the dike for just a few moments more.  


This is getting too dramatic sounding, after all what are a few thousand lives here or there in the whole scheme of things?  What is my life?  I am just a  simple guy from a little town who has tried to do right .   It dawned on me that my entire life may have been based on a faulty set of distortions.  Perhaps, the Republicans have always had it right. Get what is yours and the others can do the same.  Judge others in simple black and white terms, forget the gray areas.  Drive a big car with heated seats, because you can and you are safe.  Look past the crippled vet on the street corner on your way to the  support the troops fundraiser.  Wave your little flag, repeat little lies, learn what is proper to hate and then do it.  A simple formula really.  Grab what is yours and if some people get elbowed who are in your way, then so be it. Brother's keeper--words for wimps and softies.  

This may sound a bit self-serving,  but I worry more about our clients whom I feel we have served well. Let me go through them with you: (All the names are fake)

 Ricky: Young man who was hit with schizophrenia and had a difficult time adjusting or admitting his challenges who ended up in the state hospital for over six months less than a year ago. He has been doing great lately and was given an abundant amount of hours. Hours reduced from 12 per week to five. Cost of hospitalization: $600 per day. Our prevention program: $1000 per month.


Jim: Severely disabled with difficulties in communication. Asperger's Syndrome/ Schizophrenia.   He is 35. Been either in jail, for petty crimes or in state hospitals for 12 years since age 18. Has been stable with only one forced brief mental hospital stay when he moved from my area last June, after we worked together for the previous three years in which he was able to stay in his mother's home without many problems. He moved back and we got him placed in a group home where he is learning to live independently. Hours, 13 per week reduced to five.


Tom: I have worked with Tom for over six years. He has become less isolated during this time and more active in the community. He works part- time with me acting as his job coach and pays taxes. Was hospitalized for a short time two years ago when his incompetent doctor changed his meds unexpectedly. Hours reduced from 10 per week to five.

Rick: No hours from me but had his disability hours reduced from 40 per week to 22. This means this quadriplegic man gets to keep care of himself for one full day per week without any outside assistance.


I could go on but you get the picture. To further complicate matters, the regional supervisor has a hard line policy about seeing clients over and above allocated hours. So, I could lose my license, if I volunteered time which is ridiculous and supremely stupid but he is the boss of this program and all must bow down. The Republicans in charge are mostly from the southern  part of the state which is just Utah north. They are using this crisis to push an agenda, which is to cut government programs.  This is the plan. Bush's screwups and thievery are going to be fixed, supposedly, on the backs of our most vulnerable. And some very nice, pleasant people will support it all the way.  My answer?


I am going to become a hippie again. Everything I thought years ago has pretty much come true. I had the answers early on while living as a hippie. I am going to grow my gray hair long, get a nice pipe and toke up regularly. I may get a job in the produce section at the Food Co-Op to make up for some of my lost wages. I just hope I don't lose it someday and beat to death with a fresh, thick zucchini, some SUV driving, republican asshole.   I may even start blogging more regularly and write even more stupid shit.  Sounds like  a dandy life.  


depressed guy

He feels like I do today



Scroll down for a happy tune





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I'm so sorry to hear about this, not just for your vulnerable clients, but for you too. The lack of universal health care in the U.S. never ceases to amaze me. It seems as barbaric as any Third World country.

I think your attitude toward what is happening is healthy, and also damn funny! Thanks for the tune. Not everybody can find the humour in such sad things. Don't ever lose that gift.
Thanks Emma, I love you.
Wait wait wait a minute... has the Governor signed onto this? Our legislature is talking a big game right now, too. Because they don't really understand the FMAP/Medicaid increase in the Recovery Act they're all over-reacting to the budget.

MAKE THE GOVERNOR HOLD OFF on cuts until the Recovery numbers are solid!! Call a local advocacy group -I can help you find on if you need help. Organize a call-in day, email campaign about the cuts. Expose them. Write LTEs. Try to enlist Medicaid recipients in the effort, if you can.

In the meantime, go thp this web site for information and talking points to use with your legislators/Governor:
www.cbpp.org It's the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities. They are my first go-to site every day as I lobby this issue very hard at our state capitol.

Until the Governor signs it, it isn't law. Don't let him sign it!!

And, lastly, I feel for ya. I know this fight well.
spud -- I feel your pain. My 2009 budget was slashed 86% due to medicaid cuts. Fortunately NY state is just a little more progressive than Idaho.

I'm sorry for this impact this has on you and your clients.
Oy. What the f----- can i say? Shitty day for sure. You gotta get health insurance some how and get those health issues taken care of. Yikes. Sending some kind of decent vibes your way. Our luck has sorta turned around in the past week. If that can happen, anything can. Honest. A cyber hug. And go watch a funny movie. Have you seen Tropic Thunder? It is a total gas.
Aw, Spud. This just stinks! Not you too. It always amazes me that the mental health funds are always the first to go. I recently had my hours cut at my insurance job (no one is able to pay their business insurance premiums because all business everywhere is hurting) so I'm definitely sharing your pain.

They took away your hours, but don't you dare let them steal that sense of humor of yours. Hang in there, my friend.
I know you didn't want sympathy but man that's fucked (excuse my language). Carl gets paid by the state of California to take care of his autistic twin brothers. And his hours have been slowly been reduced over the years. Plus, he gets paid a few cents above minimum age! He's been doing this since he's 18 and he's 44 now.

So I guess working for the state, any state of the Union, has been like walking in a tight wire. I hope that one day there will be some sort of universal health care for everyone in the USA.

From what you've written there are simply too many people being left out of the system. It's scary to think Rick having no assistance at all for even one day out of the week.

Without Carl there, the twins would have certainly been institutionalized years ago or placed in a group home. They cannot take care of themselves whatsoever.

But the thing is that there are so, so many people out there just like the ones you work with, just like the twins who need help and assistance but can't get enough of it.

That's why Carl has a side business on ebay and the reason we go up to Los Angeles is to buy dvds and cds which you can't get in San Diego. He has a keen eye on how much something is worth and when I look at it it's just an old VHS tape. He HATES, HATES, HATES ebay! But he can't go out and get a regular job because the twins need so much help. He even has to supervise them when they brush their teeth because if he doesn't they'll brush their teeth for hours and hours and their gums will bleed.

He can't live on what the state pays him. You know expensive it is to live in Southern California.

I absolutely hate politicians!! And you're right, the lasting affects of Bush will be with us for a very long time.

So I do hope things will get better for you. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Well, on the plus side, we'll get to read more of your work!

And yes, FUCK YOU IDAHO from this angry fag from San Diego for screwing over the Spud Man!!
But we are the "Greatest country in the world." That sad phrase is like the aging starlet, her scars and imperfections covered with too much makeup, heading out to perform, the same old songs and echoing the same old lines, still thinking herself gorgeous and captivating.

That just about sums it up. Beautifully written on what is obviously one of the worst days of your life. Keep pushing forward with your wonderful funny side and who knows ... maybe things will turn around sooner rather than later :) I sure hope so!

Again ~ let me say that line above is perfection!

(((HUGS))) Ann
This totally sucks. For you and for them. I'm speechless with how stupid and shortsighted and stupid government entities are.

I agree with Emma. When Stew and I were in the midst of his mental illness and our poverty and trying to keep roofs over our heads we laughed a lot -- at least on those days he wasn't totally affect-less. Sure, we cried a lot too. Fortunately he had a great sense of humor, and so do you.
I hate that we live in a country that gives more money to millionaires and cares not a shit about folks who need help.
I hope that you will send this letter to the president, to the first lady, to your local newspaper, to anyone who will listen.
I am convinced that the only way to get anywhere is to keep pushing, even when we are pushed beyond all our strength.
Goddamnit. I'm so sorry.
Hey, don't worry about me. I'm just getting started. You see I know this one armed guy -we may have some interesting things planned. I will not go down without a fight. No white flag of surrender here, (sorry Dido) Oh, did I mention COCKSUCKING MOTHERFUCKING COUGAR FUCKERS/ Didn't think so.
Dammit Spud, this just PISSES me off. I'm in a very similar boat. My client just cut two days per week our=t of my consulting fees even though we have a contract through April. They still want the same work and to have me available all week but only want to pay me for three days.

Still, it's just me and mine coping with this. It's so like you to be concerned for your clients as much as yourself.

I think I have the same crappy insurance with the $5000 deductible. Couldn't get real insurance when I became self-employed. I know I need to have some things checked out but just don't have the dough right now. Like you, I keep hoping today is not the day.

Listen to wakingup, though, don't go down without a fight. Maybe this stimulus thing will make a difference. And find a way to take care of those health issues.

Thanks for all of this, Dubya. Thanks a fucking lot for your legacy. Why have we not strung the sorry bastard from the highest tree, Mussolini style?

I'm mad as hell and don't know how to stop taking it anymore!
Thanks for sharing your grief, and the truth. Your post (maybe minus the all caps segment) should be sent to every newspaper and tv station in Idaho. Send it to CNN too. This should be known. This is the truth that everyone in power wants to ignore.

You can borrow my zucchini or better, grow your own (as we all are starting to do in the stems and seeds camp) And since we are talking about civil disobedience, go ahead and see your clients if you can manage it - and send that info to the papers and CNN too!
You have given another wake up call, but the Republicans keep hitting the "snooze" button!

I am so sorry to hear of your travails and will not, under any circumstances, say something like "hard times make us stronger".

Bullshit. I hope that you can get with some real s-disturbers and give those idiots what for. We have had too many deaths and murders in California in backwood republican counties that didn't fund their mental health programs.

You are a priceless commodity, and I hope that you start viewing yourself that way.
Spudster - damn. Damn damn damn. Damn.
(hugs and good wishes for betterment soon)
What is going on in this country? Does everyone want everyone to get sick and die? Pretty soon we're all going to get the plague or something because no one will be able to afford heath care at all. (Maybe the plague statement seems ignorant, but still...)

I am sorry to hear this. I was laid off before and lost everything. EVERYTHING! You name it, and it got gone!
Oh shit, I'm sorry. I'm on the Hope-and-a-Prayer Insurance program too. Everything you describe about your neighborhood is happening in Memphis too - talked to a homeless guy the other day who is living in the car wash with 10 other guys. They have a hot plate which they plug in to the wall and use to stay warm. He asked my husband for an old coat since he only had a slicker.

I know it sucks to be us, but baby doll, you sure don't want to be them. You might die, but that's still better than being them, because they never were alive, they don't know what life is. Hang in there, love you bunches, and I'll pray for your folks who had their hours cut.
So sorry this is happening to you. Thousands of people in my town are also losing their jobs... the stimulus is NOT trickling down while idiot bankers are taking golfing trips. Something is seriously wrong.
As civilized countries go, America is pretty pathetic. The Governors should have their salaries suspended if their net worth is more than a million dollars. Same with all the legislators. Cutting services for the most vulnerable and needy in society is a symptomatic of a school yard bully picking on the weakest kid. If the budgets must be cut lets start with fat, the governors salary as I mentioned is a good place to start.

Sorry about the affect this having on you Spud, and please somehow you've got to get some proper health care.
I know the first ones to get the budget axe here in Illinois are the in-home nurses and others who provide services to the handicapped and mentally ill. Most Illinois hospitals for the mentally ill were closed decades ago. The argument was they could be better served in-home, and in many cases this is true. Now that these people are more spread out, they are less visible. Usually they wind up in jail, at a much higher cost, because the prison industry is better organized. Sorry spud. Hope you can hang on a bit longer.
I am sorry. It looks like in your situation the cuts were made to those who had the least ability to adequately complain (your clients).
Spudman, reading about all that you have done for people over the years, you'll never hear a boo hoo from me. I feel for you and them.
I hope this is a temporary thing and you'll get the funding back.
Thinking and sending positive vibes.
Hi Spud,

I admit I'm in total shock and denial. This makes me want to wretch my guts out. Even here in New Mexico, which is practically a third world country, the money from the stimulus package is going to Medicaid and schools. As poor as this state is, we get where our priorities lie. I'd tell you to get your ass down here but I also hate the idea of you leaving behind the mentally ill and handicapped who need you. You're probably the brightest thing to happen to them. You're able to give hope.

I also have lupus, 2 root canals which need to be done and a $20K surgery which I can't have as I have no insurance. I can't afford to self-insure. I'd say I feel your pain but the truth is, if I fail, no one fails with me. I could probably crash with a friend if I lose my home. I've seen my parents struggle and their benefits are slashed but have never before heard it spoken from the angle of the care givers.

I can't understand why this is happening. It seems to me the Republicans are a cult in a suicide pact. I'm thinking they want Obama to fail so much that they are willing to harm their own constituents to get that done. Then what? Continue bankrupting the country? Their plans failed yet they don't want anyone else to succeed. This is more than I can tolerate.

I wish there was something, anything I could do or say which would right this wrong. I'm just so truly sorry.
Thank you my good friends. Your outpouring is humbling. I will be gone . I am heading to Boise this very minute. I will try not to cuss. I will not go down or bend over and simply take it....I will be in touch soon..Peace, the Spudman I will respond in a few hours.
i hear the communist party is making a come-back.

i can't think why you're the least bit surprised, the guiding principle in the united states has always been "devil take the hindmost", because they are lazy scum that hard-working, tax-paying, right-thing americans are entitled to drive their suv's over.

everybody is well pleased with this righteous ethos, until age or simple bad luck makes them one of the losers, at which point the virtues of an inclusive society suddenly become clear. console yourself: a lot of people will be joining you under the bridge. they will be better people than you find in church.
Spud: My prayers and positive vibes go out to you and everyone else who is suffering in this time. You are so right in what you say, and I am pissed that this is happening to you and your clients. Although I live in Cali, I think that if you are willing, your situation can be a rallying point for national attention to your state, and the plight of persons in the mental health system. At no other time before have we had the power as citizens to effect change on the national level. I say let's expose them as the frauds they are, and bring this situation into the bright light of mainstream media. You are important, not just to your clients, family and friends, but to the continuation of healing the broken mind and misunderstood people. That's what you do, spud. Rated.
Good God! Who put Needle Dick the Bug Fucker in charge of the needs of your clients? I am so angry I could spit nails like a nail gun. It makes me feel angry and weepy at the same time. This after I laughed like hell at your way of swearing. I had to read it aloud 4 times before I could do it straight-faced so my husband could understand what I was reading.

This is the most ignorant and selfish government action I have ever heard described. It's just f-ing stupid, heartless and cynical.

I am so, so sorry for what it is going to do to your life, and to the lives of your clients.
Wow, spud, do I know that thought process! Especially the part about thinking I just should have been an asshole all along and never tried to care about anything. I have to believe, though, that somewhere some day that there's a reward for that.

If people knew the what the price is gonna be for keeping our money system, they'd drop it tomorrow. As it is, in the meantime, we all get to die for the greater glory of capitalism. But as long as the world tells me to die, I will always tell the world to die. I hope you will too. "Welcome to the party, pal!" (Die Hard)

On the plus side, dying while writing gets you an EP!
I am so sorry Idaho Spud, for you and for the people you've devoted yourself to over the years. Your priorities have been right on. It's the country now that's just totally out of wack, and some people seem to like it that way, oddly enough. Your analogy of the US as a formerly pretty woman with a dirty face was beautiful.

You have my sympathy about the teeth thing. I have dental insurance and it covers practically nothing. You always try to cheer me up or encourage me, and I feel bad for having nothing concrete to offer but for that I guess WUS knows her stuff. I just want to offer some emotional support. Your writing is fabulous and just keep going. What else is there to do but hope for better things. I'm so sorry.
This is the kind of story that makes you realize how far our country has sunk in the last few decades. We've become a nation of uncaring, unsympathetic, selfish bastards. I don't get it. Most of the people I know have good jobs and are doing well. But every single one of them knows someone, maybe a family member, in this predicament. Where is the compassion? Where is the outrage?

Keep up the fight... it is the only way we will finally get a decent health care system for all,
I have my fingers crossed for real healthcare reform, soon. You'll get through this. Rated.
Wow.......I know that your story must be multiplied hundreds of thousands of times over in this country, but I have never read it articulated as well as you have right here. I'm so sorry for you, but love that you have the fight and that you choose to do the right thing. You're a good man Ispud. A very good, decent man. Rated.
Just got home and jumped onto Os.
I am so pissed off on your behalf. I was so happy thismorning after I watched Obama's speech but I am also well aware of the national belt-tightening-punch everyone in the U.S. has to take in the teeth.
I am very sad to read your news. Hate it for you.
I instantly thought of all the people you help. It's fucking not right.

The fact that your state is playing fucked up political games might turn the near future into a POSTAL situation.
Wouldn't surprise me a bit.
This pisses me off SO much! Policies like this are not only cruel but stupid. The assholes would rather pay for people to be in hospitals and jails than help them live a better life with support from those like you.
Bastards. BASTARDS. Let's go fuck em up.. I'll holdem, you hit em!!

I'm so sorry Spud... nothing else to say.
Times is tough. Sorry to hear about your business and your clients being put in such a precarious position.

Good luck to you.
Well I don't have a dull knife to spare. I need it to have something to fall on.
It's a horrible shame that the self employed is completely left out in both health care and unemployment benefits.
Perhaps the Republican Party will have an answer for you? No? What a big freakin surprise!

This is it: "Barack, please hurry, man we can only keep our fingers in the dike for just a few moments more."

You are a Poster Case for what's been done to our country.. small business, hard working, no health care, giving back, helping the most needy, getting screwed by the system.

Keeping your incredible sense of humor: Priceless. I hope you find a way to get help. You are so not the person we can afford to lose.
I had a dull knife once that I used for my peanut butter, but the TSA took it away.

Hippies do rule! You hang in there, brother.
Well, this was the last straw. I've been stalling on dealing with my extensive collection of mental illness writing, but now I've started my blog: www.stewyoungmemorial.wordpress.com, which has a link to this blog. Doesn't have much else yet, but I just started it today, so what'd you expect? Links to any resources would be oh-so-awesome, so I can add on.
ARGH!!! That sums up my disbelief at stupid reactionary bastards and their obscene stinginess towards our society's version of Untouchables. Inarticulate with anger and sorrow at how you're being treated: yet another Good Person kicked in the ass for giving a damn. The line from Sense and Sensibility, ". . . piracy may be our only option,' comes to mind in these Depression days.
OK, I guess I'll weigh in here with some comments from a different angle.

I did quick google search and found this article (a little dated): http://www.idahostatesman.com/235/story/640496.html

Near the end is a relevant paragraph:
"When Clement prepared her fiscal year 2010 Medicaid proposal, she originally wanted $443.8 million in Idaho general tax revenue. That's a roughly 20 percent increase from the original 2009 appropriation, to account for inflation and additional low-income people added to Medicaid. But Gov. Butch Otter has recommended $366.6 million, forcing Clement to come up with about $77 million in proposed cuts. So far, Clement said cost-saving measures identified by her staff cover about half that amount."

1. The budget request for 2010 was a 20% increase year over year. That is a lot by anyone's definition. Just imagine what 20% a year for a couple of years in a row would look like. Doesn't it seem reasonable for the state legislature to pushback on this some?

2. If the $443 mil is a 20% increase, then that means the 2009 budget is ~369 mil. So, the difference between the 2009 budget and alternative 2010 budget of $366 mil is -$3 million. Fair enough, that is a real cut. But, one might think there are numbers in between these two "extremes" that are also valid.

Now, if you find the idea that debating what the amount should be is distasteful, then just wait until the federal government creates national healthcare. That will be real rationing.

As a note, I also found this online at the state of Idaho site.

When you count both state funds and federal funds, health and welfare is the largest percent of the budget at 32%. Public schools is next at 28%. So, just these two items is 60% of the budget. Do you want to move 1% from schools to health? Maybe the right answer is to go the other way. Not so easy is it?
I met an Idaho government worker at a conference about 15 years ago. He described the Idaho legislature as the "Flat Earth Society." Looks like things have gotten even worse in those 15 years.
Hey Brother Spud,
The others have said it all. Just wanted to let you know I came by while you were in Boise. Hang in there friend.
This post wonderfully illustrates the problems of healthcare structure and funding mechanisms on the state level. Without personal stories like these, the national debate over healthcare loses its meaning. Thanks for the post.
There's a light at the end of this, Spud. Don't know what it is yet, but I know it's coming. Hope you got some good news in Boise. Remember you have friends on the west side.
Wow. This is quite a piece. First things first: Your heart is huge. Secondly: Your kindness and compassion flows through your anger and makes me love you instantly....Thirdly, I am just so fucking sorry.

Christ on a crutch, what IS the matter with people?

I wish I could rate this a million times over.
i came late to the party because i was sleeping for massive hours. shit, man, this sucks. you did a service with this. you put another faceon the soulsucking hardship that is going on for so manymany many. i so agree with you about the hippie thing. i may start making anadama bread -- can't remember what it is/was -- and boycotting lettuce again. lovelove love and gratitude for such an honest and moving piece.
Yeah, lots of State governments are doing stupid lately. Heck, Indiana has a "shortfall" but are sitting on property tax revenues for some reason, maybe they need toilet paper. ~shrug~

Can't say anything that hasn't already been said....

I read this kind of stuff and I want to scream and cry at the same time. I'm just a couple years younger than you and unemployed, so I know your pain, fear, and frustration. Since we're "self-employed" it gets even worse. I recently read that 55's and over are largest growing unemployed segment in the country. Don't go away quietly. Look at the response you got here. Write to some newspaper editorials.

I'm seeing, regular, everyday people in my area struggling like hell. If some serious help doesn't come soon, it's gonna be one hell of a summer.
So very sorry, Spud. This is a mess, and so many of us are suffering. All best to you!!! Keep writing and venting. (I like zucchini bread and am baking it again. Comfort food.)
So you have to economize now....
I suggest wiping with your dirty socks.
Double the usage of everyday items when you can.
I hear the combined scent of toe cheese and manly butt-crack really does it for the ladies.
see, see what happens. you didn't listen to the b-52's song, "private idaho." they specifically stated, "you're living in your own private idaho...better beware." all kidding aside. sit tight, don't do any thing rash, or get a rash. i would think that since the trend is toward community programs as oppossed to hospitalization the demand would be high for someone like yourself. get a resume together, and check out companies that run "houses," etc.. check the state and federal websites, careerbuilder, monster. have you considered a career in modeling...you'd be suprised at the demand for mature white dudes. you may want to check local hospitals to see if they have any research studies going on...no not taking lsd or smoking weed. disease studies so atleast you can get free health care while you participate in the study. nothing inpatient but many hospitals, teaching hospitals conduct research. and last but not least... play the b-52's, "rock lobster."
hey spud. i almost forgot...start your own ponzi scheme.
Why don't you become a non profit?
Nothing wrong with letting out your feelings. You have cause to be very upset. Don't be down on yourself! But treat yourself as you would treat your clients.
We need national health care. And I hope that the federal spending will help you find employment eventually.
It is unjust that the mentally ill, with brain illnesses, don't get equal treatment. I believe Obama will make things better. FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION FOR OUR COUNTRY. AND I CAN TELL-- YOU ARE A WINNER.
Our world sees to be turning into THE GRAPES OF WRATH Part TWO. This time the dust bowl is the apathy state governments show towards decent healthcare and wages.
@kathy k
if there is some kind of national healthcare it would probably be so fucked up ...something like if you cut finger the antibacterial ointment is covered, but the band aid is $58.
We should talk - I learned today that if states cut certain parts of their Medicaid programs, they will get NO stim money.

Did they cut benefits or eligibility? Big difference in what they'll lose federally.

I can try to do some Idaho/Medicaid research this weekend if that would help. I may be able to help find a provision for you that you can give/show/throw at legislators. Many state legislatures are risking bad decisions right now, when they should instead be reading the damn bill. I'll see what I can figure out for you.

I don't know any Medicaid advocates in Idaho. Sorry. Well, except for you, you good man.
Reading this literally made me feel sick. It's not fair that the people who do the most good are the first on the chopping block when things get rough. It's DISGUSTING that we live in one of the richest countries in the world but you aren't getting treatment for blindness and Hep. C because there's no universal health care and serving your state doesn't pay well enough for you to afford it.

I feel for you and your clients and all the other people whose lives will be affected by this callous--and seemingly needless--misplacement of priorities. Rated, and good luck, and I'm hoping your fine state changes its mind.
Also, I wave a big bag of the green stuff in your general direction :)
God this makes me physically sick to my stomach. Thinking of all of your clients, and of Rick having to cope on his own each week. And people like you with compassion and decency are falling apart while fuckhead idiots control the pursestrings. What the hell!!!! I like the idea of you growing your hair out though - and blogging more. But hey - if you say you want a revolution - don't you know that you can count me in!
This outpouring of support was frankly embarrassing. I felt like a gomer who stumbled out onto the stage and got blinded by the lights. I was just ranting and pissed because it always is my guys, the people I have worked with the underbelly of society that always get picked on when times get tough. The healthcare stuff is kind of scary for me to read myself. I repress this most of the time. I should have been around to communicate and I hope I will be able to get to you all via e-mail. This place never fails to amaze me. I really would like to just slink back to my comfortable little OS existence as I was in the middle of a pretty good story. I like some attention but this was like being the homecoming king or queen or whatever. Jesus, would someone come and get this microphone and just want to get back to my seat. Love all of you, thanks for the support.