This pix of Billy Long and others was taken today at Sigma House in Springfield MO.
Billy or more likely, his staff, posted the photo on Billy's facebook page with this caption: Billy tours the Sigma House of Springfield and learns how important it is in serving the community.
Billy tours the Sigma House of Springfield and learns how important it is in serving the community.
Billy is just now learning about the importance of programs like Sigma House?
Sigma House receives funding from Medicaid through contracts with the Missouri Department of Mental Health, Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse*. These contracts provide a significant source of funding for the recovery centers. Other revenue is derived from federal substance abuse rehabilitation programs, courts system programs and local government.
We know Billy watched Bill Clinton's speech last night on C-SPAN, he tweeted that he was watching: Billy Long @auctnr1: Watched #DCN2012 but TV was Time Warping or I got C-SPAN '92 Clinton Speech? No talk of abortion. social issues, business-bashing or Bain?
I guess he must have going to the bathroom or getting a drink when Clinton talked about Medicaid:
Now, folks, this is serious, because it gets worse. And you won’t be laughing when I finish telling you this. They also want to block grant Medicaid and cut it by a third over the coming 10 years. Of course, that’s going to really hurt a lot of poor kids.In that sentence of Clinton's -- "They also want to block grant Medicaid and cut it by a third over the coming 10 years" -- he's referring to the Paul Ryan Budget Plan for which Billy Long voted "YEA", twice.
But that’s not all. A lot of folks don’t know it, but nearly two-thirds of Medicaid is spent on nursing home care for Medicare seniors who are eligible for Medicaid.
It’s going to end Medicare [sic--he probably meant Medicaid] as we know it. And a lot of that money is also spent to help people with disabilities, including a lot of middle-class families whose kids have Down’s syndrome or autism or other severe conditions.
And, honestly, just think about it. If that happens, I don’t know what those families are going to do. So I know what I’m going to do: I’m going to do everything I can to see that it doesn’t happen. We can’t let it happen. We can’t.
Frequent bus riders will remember when Billy Long, in talking about Social Security and Medicare, repeats the Republican talking point: "I think we need to honor our committment to seniors." And, when he's asked a follow up question, he has no answer beyond the talking point.
From the bus garage, October 9, 2010: Pedaling backwards as fast as he can:
Jim Lee (JL): Well, uh, I, uh, I feel like I'm 62 years old and just whenI get ready to collect Social Security, Boehner's talking about raising the, uh, retirement age to seventy and, and I thought, My God, I worked my butt off for forty plus years.That Paul Ryan Budget Plan that Billy Long voted "YEA" on, twice, thats the plan Billy and "Mr. Vice-President" (that's Billy's pet name for Paul Ryan-- sort of a congressman's crush I guess) while it preserves the existing Social Security plan for those 55 and older,that budget also ends the Medicare guarantee and replaces it with a voucher program and cuts Medicaid funding by 34%. Bill Clinton, Medicaid and the politics of poverty:
BL: Yeah, we got to honor our commitment to people.
BL: We can't, we got to honor our commitment to seniors.
JL: Well, then, are you saying that, uh, you would consider raising the Social Security retirement age to seventy?
BL: Listen, I'm, I think we need to honor our commitment to our seniors.
Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan vow not to touch Medicare benefits for anyone currently 55 or older. But they have made no such assurance about Medicaid. Last night, Clinton reminded America that plenty of seniors–and the middle-aged who are often responsible for and stressed about their care–depend on both programs. (More than eight million seniors are “dually eligible” for Medicaid and Medicare because of low income or disability.)So when Billy talks about "honoring our commitment to our seniors" he isn't telling you that that commitment doesn't extend to Medicaid.
Think about it. In MO7, Long’s district, his "YEA" vote for the Paul Ryan budget and the Medicaid cuts "would mean a loss of $1.9 billion in federal health care funding over the next decade."
Long's "YEA" vote eliminates coverage for over 143,000 Missouri seniors, individuals with disabilities, children, pregnant women, and others currently enrolled in Medicaid.
And jobs. Think about the job losses in MO7 resulting from Long's "YEA" vote. In today's SN-L there are 111 classified ads seeking help in the medical field.
Think of all jobs in treatment centers like Sigma House, jobs in hospices, home health companies, assisted living facilities, nursing homes and hospitals that would evaporate if the Medicaid cuts Long voted "YEA" on came to pass.
The economic impact on MO7 would be devastating. The impact of these cuts would ripple through the state and local economy, costing jobs for health care providers and suppliers, slowing economic recovery, and reducing income taxes and other revenues.
Yeah, Billy Long, and you are just now learning how important Medicaid is to our community?
I keep remembering what you told that crowd in Tampa during the Republican Convention last week: "I'm a congressman. Not too proud of that but I am."
Neither are we Billy, neither are we.
You might try touring Planned Parenthood also, Billy. You might learn something there also. For over 35 years, Planned Parenthood has been the leading provider, educator and protector for reproductive health care in Southwest Missouri. Planned Parenthood is important to members of our community. You might learn how your "YEA" vote outlaws IUDs, an inexpensive, relatively risk-free means of birth control. I'm pretty sure you are familiar with birth control, Billy. You've got two kids. Or maybe you were just lazy.
*The Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse also is the administrator of treatment programs for problem gamblers and affected family members. Individuals with gambling problems and their families can receive counseling services along with referrals for other supportive interventions, to include 12-step support groups, financial planning and remediation, and legal assistance. Treatment is individualized and services include individual and group counseling and family therapy. Family members affected by a loved one’s gambling can receive counseling services independent of the problem gambler. Services are paid for through the Compulsive Gamblers Fund, which is derived from the fees paid by Missouri casino properties. So maybe, just maybe Billy does support Sigma House, eh?