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March 28, 2010

Fair is foul...

"These words came especially to mind as the Illinois Secretary of Human Services Michelle Saddler presented the Department’s budget to a group of advocates last week.

"My reaction was due partly to Secretary Saddler’s description of the proposed cuts, which will be tragic.

“With this budget, we are dismantling the social safety net” she said. “Human services are being kicked to the curb…people will simply disappear if they are not helped…$300 million will be cut from human services, with special gutting of prescription drugs…in mental health, 74,000 will not receive their meds…rehabilitation services cuts will hurt people who, with services, can work, but without services, will not be able to…”

"Services will be available only to those at Medicaid levels – which are set at below federal poverty – and to those who can afford to pay full freight. Others will have no access to virtually any service even if they have children who are autistic, have cerebral palsy, or are intellectually impaired; suffer from mental illness or could live at home rather than a nursing facility at greater cost.

"Also disorienting was what the Secretary said next: “The Department of Human Services in no way supports this budget. Candidly, the governor is not an advocate for this budget either. It is driven by limited resources."

Read more in Protestants for the Common Good, March 25, 2010.