Budget cuts

“They represent, I believe, the most responsible decisions we could make with the constraints we faced.” These words were in the latest press release of 12/09/09 by Gov. Christine Gregoire regarding the $2.6 billion budget shortfall.

Basic Health Plan, Apple Health for Children and General Assistance Unemployable program affect over 100,000 people who are usually underemployed or unemployed and low-income. So, while the rest of the country has been awash in nothing but “health care reform” ostensibly to cover the “uninsured and low-income” among other things, our esteemed Governor can’t find anything else to cut except health insurance for the poorest among us, and she refers to those cuts as “responsible?”

Well, how “responsible” is it for Gregoire to jet to Copenhagen (a little out of Washington state jurisdiction if I remember my geography) first class, stay at the most lavish Copenhagen hotel and limo around town with the world’s elite on tax-payer funds? And, she took two of her aids with her, again, at our expense.

In reviewing just a few of her budget items, I’d think the $825 million spent by government to study its own efficiency, $7.5 million to promote food supply safety, $36 million for Puget Sound Action Agenda, $15 million for new WSU student tracking program or 6 million to build new Aviation H.S. and fund Museum of Flight Space Gallery (now that Boeing is leaving in bits and pieces) among many others might have been more “responsible” cuts by the Governor thus saving health care insurance for the low income and children!

So, what could possibly be her motive? The new federal health care plan which she hopes passes and will immediately cover those she has cut. Last time I looked, nothing has been passed and considering that this is the federal government, nothing would happen very quickly either. So, now these newly uninsured people will simply go through emergency rooms to get medical attention which will automatically drive up costs to the rest of us – the new “resdistribution of wealth” program. Thank you, Gov. Gregoire.

Catherine Paxton

Arlington

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