As ThinkProgress has reported, Gov. Jan Brewer (R-AZ) and the GOP-controlled state House have turned a blind eye to the plight of 98 Arizona patients in desperate need of organ transplants. Since Brewer enacted painful cuts to the state’s Medicaid program in October, two Arizonans unable to pay for the transplants they needed passed away. After months of appeals and protests, it appears Brewer has finally agreed to set aside a $151 million “uncompensated-care pool to pay health-care providers for ‘life-saving’ procedures, including transplants.”
However, state House Republicans remain vigilant in their anti-human life campaign. They are refusing to let measures to restore funding for organ transplants advance because, as the state House Appropriations Committee Chairman Jon Kavanagh (R) explained, “not enough lives would be saved to warrant restoring millions in budget cuts” for the transplants.
But as Brewer and the GOP-led legislature waffle over the value of human lives, two more people — including 23-year-old leukemia patient Courtney Parham — join the 98 others standing before the Brewer death panel. Because the state has so far refused to pay for her transplant, Courtney’s family “must raise somewhere between $400-$800 thousand dollars for a transplant, or their daughter will die.”
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Arizona Needs Protests, Too
(Desert Shell by Shane Rickman)
As we watch the continuing protests in Madison, Wisconsin, I'm thinking that we need the same kind of public uprising here in Arizona. On the surface, the issues look different: the Wisconsin protests are about the rights of union workers; Arizona is a "right to work" state that has already effectively killed unionization. But in reality, there are underlying issues in both (and many other) states that are a result of the republican mindset of putting corporate interests ahead of the well being of ordinary people.
There is one major difference: In Wisconsin, they're trying to kill unions; in Arizona, they're trying to kill actual innocent people:
Remember that whole "of the people, by the people, for the people" thing? How can we consider ourselves a decent, democratic society if we are willing to sanction the killing of the weak in favor of protecting the profits of the wealthy? Is cutting the taxes of the rich and the corporations so important that we cannot afford to help the most vulnerable amongst us?
In the coming week or so, I'm hoping to engage as many people as I can to try to organize a protest at the Arizona state capitol, because I don't think that I'm the only one outraged by a government that chooses to callously kill innocent people. Anyone interested in joining me? My email address is in my profile.