Pelosi blasts Republicans over budget cuts

June 20, 2011 7:20:01 PM PDT
House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi is blasting her Republican colleagues, blaming them for trying to balance the budget on the backs of the poor.

On Monday, Pelosi visited a senior day care center that will be decimated by cuts to Medi-Cal. The center is housed inside San Francisco's new Institute on Aging, a beautiful new building on Geary. Three times a week, Sara Wolde works out there on a hand crank exerciser.

"A long time ago, I have cancer and the doctors told me I have to do exercise," she told ABC7.

Without the exercise, she says she has to up her morphine.

"Well, the pain comes," she said.

At the end of this month, the pain is coming to the senior center. The physical therapy program will be eliminated. The hundred or so clients will be cut to less than 30.

"We won't be accepting clients that have Medi-Cal as their insurance anymore," program coordinator Tracy McCloud said. "That's it."

As of June 30, there will be no more medical patients, no more physical therapy, no skilled nursing, and no speech or occupational therapy. The staff will be cut from 20 down to three. Pelosi toured the facility, shaking hands with men and women who will likely not be there after the end of the month. At a news conference downstairs, she blamed Republicans for the cuts.

"Three quarters of a trillion dollars they slash from Medicaid. That's almost exactly the tax cut they want to give to the wealthiest people in our country," she said.

Republicans defend the tax cuts as a necessity.

"The very wealthy are the ones that create wealth in this country," Bay Area Republican Party Vice Chair Morgan Kelly said in March. "They're the ones that provide the jobs."

Pelosi says there is little hope of restoring the money with Republicans in control of the House. The New York Times reports that White House has not even tried. There are 7.6 million Medicaid beneficiaries in California. Hospitals and doctors say the cuts will make it harder for the poor to see a physician.

"I think conscientious physicians would want to continue to serve, but they can't take a cut, a cut, a cut, and not be able to pay their office help and their office rent," said Institute on Aging CEO Dave Werdegar.

The logical result is that more people will show up at emergency rooms and hospitals will pass the cost of treating the uninsured and poor onto those who have insurance and the ability to pay. Expect another hike in health care premiums.


Load Comments