Monday, November 14, 2011

Game on.

Here in Wisconsin November 15th marks the start of the recall of Governor Walker. The citizens of our fair state have 60 days to gather 540,000 signatures of eligible voters who are interested in seeing our fair Governor in the unemployment line. I will be gathering signatures, manning booths, doing everything I can to see this happen, and honestly believe we will succeed in forcing a recall vote. 

Now here's the thing, I believe that we get what we pay for, and he won the popular vote in 2010, and that there should be consequences, right? I get that. But, between running for the position and actually fulfilling his duties, somewhere, something went horribly wrong. If Walker played by the rules, I'd be disappointed in his performance and his decisions, but I wouldn't feel like the rug was pulled out from under me while someone punched me in the gut and peed on my leg all at the same time. It's the changing of the rules, ignoring federal regulations, the "my way or the high way" attitude I take exception with.

In my world, he is changing the structure of Wisconsin's Early Intervention Birth to Three services, the vehicle for which Henry receives his weekly PT and OT that expand his world. Eligibility for these services is becoming more restrictive, and Medicare funds that supplement county budgets to provide these services for needy families are getting decimated, with wide reaching impact. Private insurance doesn't cover anything deemed "Developmental", including PT and OT, so the only reimbursement they get for all of the billing they do is from children who are on the state's Badgercare program. If we had a private insurance mandate inclusive of all special needs kids, Birth to Three budgets everywhere would find another revenue stream without changing any benefits, but for now, parents have to make their case for why their kid needs therapy, and they are about to need to be a lot more convincing. Governor Walker is changing eligibility requirements, federally supported eligibility requirements that are restricting enrollment and reporting to the extent that federal funds may be in jeopardy. That doesn't matter to him. He doesn't want people like Henry to milk the system, to take advantage of free services that are only available for the first three years of their life. Interestingly enough, he didn't use his disdain of toddlers as an anthem in his campaigning, but that is absolutely one of the first casualties of his biennial budget.

I'm horrified at his approach to public education. I'm sick with worry about his promise to not enforce the Affordable Care Act in Wisconsin. I'm deeply discouraged by his lack of respect for career professionals in favor of appointing unqualified children of donors in high income positions. But the reason I protest, the reason I advocate, network, and ultimately want to recall this ignorant man is my blue eyed dimpled little boy and the thousands of others like him who expect more from us, from me. I promised Henry, and myself, to do everything I could to make sure he had every tool at his disposal that any typically developing child would, and our dear Governor is taking those tools away from me. Well. That's not acceptable. November 15th, we start the process to take those tools back.

I hope to have petitions with me pretty much all of the time. I am working with Joanne Vogt in Plain to canvas and collect signatures in the 53577. This is too important to just let someone else do it. Game on.

Hug your kids/partner/pet, and join me, won't you?

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