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Author Topic: California Governor's budget puts lives of HIV+ in danger  (Read 5778 times)

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Offline denb45

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« Last Edit: May 22, 2009, 08:19:17 PM by denb45 »
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Offline Dennis

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Re: California Governor's budget puts lives of HIV+ in danger
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2009, 10:57:47 PM »
While this is horrible news, you have to blame the California residents who voted this past week just as much as their governor. Let me start by saying I'm not a Ca resident, and therefore could never understand how a liberal state would vote a republican, no less the "Terminator" as their governor.

It's no secret the financial crisis this state is facing. Residents had an opportunity on May 19 to vote for budget measures which would create cash flow. Five of the six propositions on the ballot this past Tuesday would have helped close an approximate $42 billion budget gap. Voters shot them all down. In fact, they only one they voted favorably on was to eliminate pay raises for state legislators in years when there is a state budge deficit.

The actions of California voters  this past Tuesday clearly shows they want more in services than they're willing to pay in taxes.

Offline mecch

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Re: California Governor's budget puts lives of HIV+ in danger
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2009, 06:13:13 AM »
I just wrote my first ever letter to a US President.

You can too, its easy:  http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/

Dear President Obama,

Congratulations on your first months in the White House and all the good work. Everyone is proud of you.  I am an American living in Europe for 11 years.  I  voted for you and I know you will change America’s image and role in the world for the better.

I am writing with a personal experience by way of information for a request, from you. 

In April 2008 I was infected with HIV.  It turns out that I am among the rare “rapid progressers” - my genetics means that I can’t fight the virus much at all.

In August, I could barely stand for an hour a day, and my specialists gave me tri-therapy, or HAART (highly active anti-retroviral therapy) as it is called today.

It took 9 months and several HAART combinations before they found the effective one, for my rare case, and last Friday, the specialist announced it was a treatment success, finally – no more HIV replication in my blood, at all, and my immune system was rapidly returning to normal numbers.

I receive excellent medical attention in Switzerland.  I pay about USD 300 monthly for basic health insurance. Everyone must have at least basic insurance, if you are too poor to buy it, the government subsidizes.  The medical system is not nationalized, as you know (and Hillary before you), but it works very well for universal coverage.

My basic insurance covered all that emergency treatment, all the different medicine trials etc.  I did not miss a DAY of work after my two-week long primary infection.  Without treatment, I certainly would not have worked this school year, and might even have died by Christmas.  In fact, I skied!

I pay a bit high for the deductible of the astronomical cost of the doctors and drugs and labs, but its manageable on my salary.  To maintain my health, until there is a cure for AIDS, I need regular doctor visits, labs, and daily adherence to the drug combination.

I am writing to you because you personally must not let HIV/AIDS services suffer any interruption in the USA.  There is a danger this will happen soon, in California.

http://www.sfaf.org/aboutsfaf/releases/statehivcuts

The USA, my country, your country, proudly claims to be among the richest in the world but we know there are people and families who are shattered by a broken health care system.  It’s a gross contradiction, a shame in comparison to what a great country is capable of.

I can understand that it will take your team quite awhile to bring health care reform to the USA and send you courage for the battles that will be fought.

In the immediate time, however, please shine your personal, clear honest light on the HIV challenges ahead, and simply “throw money” at states if it is an emergency, now.  It will be a disaster if a state can’t cobble together the funds to treat ALL HIV+ people who need treatment – ruining families, and killing HIV+ people! 

HIV+ people who are in treatment cannot withstand treatment interruptions – it’s devastating to their health and dangerous to public health as well.  If it is wage earner, the effect on the family and employer will be clear, as well as the economy.  Productive members of society will turn into unemployed, gravely sick, burdens on the state. This is not dramatic hyperbole.  I am old enough to have seen this happen in the 80s and 90s, when there was no effective therapy. 

We have the scientists, we have the doctors, we have the treatment.  You might be surprised how many people there are who are working and living with HIV – thanks to good reliable continuous medical treatment.  Please don’t let this all slip away.  Certainly not in the USA! 

Please consider this an emergency and bring together everyone necessary to find a solution now.

Many thanks for your time in reading this,

xxxxxxx
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Ann

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Re: California Governor's budget puts lives of HIV+ in danger
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2009, 06:41:36 AM »
I guess Arnie really is as stupid as he looks. This is astounding - not that he's stupid, but that he's even thinking about doing this. Never-mind what people have voted for, Arnie's supposed to be a leader looking after the people of California and he should damn-well know better than this. Sounds like it's time for The Terminator to be terminated.

Ann
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Offline Dennis

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Re: California Governor's budget puts lives of HIV+ in danger
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2009, 12:20:58 PM »
I'm sorry. I still have to blame the voters for...1. for being blindsided by the lights of Hollywood and voting such incompetency into office in the first place, and 2. Failing to see the dire economic crises their own state is in, and voting against each every single proposed measure to help rectify the situation, and 3. voting for and approving initiatives in years past which created and/or expanded programs without identifying how they would be paid for.

The money has to come from somewhere. While no one likes increased taxes, sometime you just have to suck it up and do what needs to be done. Not even all proposals on the budget included raising taxes. And those that did only included raising taxes and shifting funds for 2 years (from what I understand) to help balance the state budget. Prior to the election, two budgets were proposed. One budget for if the measures passed, and another if they failed. While there were going to be cuts all across the board even if the measures passed, they weren't as drastic as is being proposed now.
 
No worries though. Obama will bail out California. Not only will U.S. citizens be the proud owners of an automobile company, we'll also be able to list the 7th largest economy in world in our financial portfolio.
 
It's Ironic how the Terminator came to this country as a poor immigrant and moved to the richest state. Now, he’s a wealthy citizen controlling the nation's poorest state.

Offline emeraldize

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Re: California Governor's budget puts lives of HIV+ in danger
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2009, 06:08:19 PM »
This arrived today in the HIV and Hepatitis.com e-newsletter.

 e-Newsletter for Sunday, May 24, 2009
Special Bulletin!

Governor Schwarzenegger Plans to Slash HIV Treatment and Prevention Funding in CA

HIV and Hepatitis.com received the following email from the CEO of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation urging all Californians to contact the Governor and members of the State Senate and Assembly who are making these painful decisions now.

To: Ronald Baker, Publisher, HIV and Hepatitis.com

Dear Ronald,


On Wednesday, I alerted you to Governor Schwarzenegger’s proposal to eliminate the State’s HIV prevention and education funding.

This morning, the news is far bleaker. The Governor has released a plan to end HIV/AIDS treatment for nearly 35,000 Californians, our neighbors who rely on the AIDS Drug Assistance Program for life-saving medication, eradicating years of progress against HIV and putting lives at risk.


The plan goes on to remove State support for HIV testing, AIDS education in schools, rural HIV prevention programs, and funds that provide housing to people living with AIDS. The budget will slash health insurance for low-income families, devastate family planning, and terminate in-home supportive services for the elderly and disabled.

In this climate, we cannot be silent.

The budget is woefully short-sighted, robbing the State of hundreds of millions of dollars in federal support. If California fails to deliver on its commitments, Washington, D.C. will deny our matching funds, jeopardizing virtually every federal benefit that supports the health of people living with HIV and irrevocably altering our capacity to prevent new infections.

This budget will have an unimaginable effect on the health of hundreds and thousands of Californians.

There is no time to waste. I urge you to contact the Governor and your State Senator and Assembly member who are making these painful decisions now. Everyone at the San Francisco AIDS Foundation—our clients, volunteers and staff—is grateful that you are speaking out in this crisis.

With profound thanks,

Mark Cloutier
CEO
San Francisco AIDS Foundation
 
 
 
 

Offline freaky_dream

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Re: California Governor's budget puts lives of HIV+ in danger
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2009, 08:52:17 PM »
I am in complete agreement with Dennis. Leave it up to Californians to shoot ourselves in the foot. A good majority seem to be under the  impression that things will sort themselves out yet complain insessantly when their roads don't get paved or their schools have subpar peformance because the students are using outmoded text books and are being housed in overcrowded delapidated classrooms. I put a lot of blame on right wing talk radio hosts who can rile up the easily misguided herds by their collective nose rings to do their bidding like no other.

Arnold rode into office this way by calling out Gray Davis on the DMV registration fee hikes even though all Gray was doing was reinstating the fee to what it was originally. Yes people had been paying the same fee for years before it was lowered yet only took notice when Arnold's team along with the right wing radio brigade used it as a rallying cry to recall Gray Davis. Anyways enough of me ranting.

Offline freaky_dream

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Re: California Governor's budget puts lives of HIV+ in danger
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2009, 01:32:55 PM »
Looks like Ahnold has backtracked a bit. They are going to keep ARV's on the formulary but are cutting out surveillance coverage (i.e. tcell counts and viral loads) and other meds like antibiotics and statins etc. So anyone wishing to apply for adap is going to have to pony up a few hundred dollars out of pocket to get the necessary tests needed to qualify for adap/ryan white. I guess paying a few hundred dollars every few months is better then paying 1600 every month to get life saving medications. The budget is still in flux and can and probably will change.

Offline texasangel071184

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Re: California Governor's budget puts lives of HIV+ in danger
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2009, 08:14:10 PM »
My biggest concern with this is what to stop other state from following suite and doing the same things? And what well we the affected be able to do in the face of such a crisis? I don't me to be a doomsayer! however it a none fact that once one person in politics does something other well follow the example and  do the same! The other thing is that I am concern for those of us that can't affoard to buy are own meds! All opions welcome!
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Offline scotts2008

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Re: California Governor's budget puts lives of HIV+ in danger
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2009, 01:31:53 PM »
the govenor is to blame-not the voters. how dare anyone blame us for californias mess.

Offline denb45

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Re: California Governor's budget puts lives of HIV+ in danger
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2009, 02:20:39 PM »
the govenor is to blame-not the voters. how dare anyone blame us for californias mess.

Services cost money to run, how can you expect a State to pay for services, when NOBODY wants to pay the higher Taxes for the services, you don't get something for nothing in this world........blame the California Tax payers, they are the ones who no longer want to pay for these services.........they don't even support Gay Marriage, what makes you think that they give 2 shits about AIDS Services....trust me they don't.........I'm glad, I no longer live there anymore, I moved outta there back in 2001, before everything fell by the wayside, would I go back to my Home State to live........ OH HELL NO!
« Last Edit: June 10, 2009, 02:29:27 PM by denb45 »
"it's so nice to be insane, cause no-one ask you to explain" Helen Reddy cc 1974

Online Miss Philicia

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Re: California Governor's budget puts lives of HIV+ in danger
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2009, 03:45:41 PM »
the governor is to blame-not the voters. how dare anyone blame us for californias mess.

Are you kidding?  It's the weirdness that is CA and how you folks put everything up on proposition votes, unlike other states.  Isn't that why your property tax limits enacted 30 years ago via CA Prop 13 causes all of this bullshit?  Who put that up for a vote?  It wasn't Arnold, much as I don't care for him.  In fact, it was passed by a 30 pt. margin so there you go.

But the bottom line is that the initiative process is way, way overused in California, and makes it too easy to amend your state constitution, and you already have a constitution that is overly cumbersome and has been described as the ultimate example of what a constitution should not be.

IIRC the minority party in the legislature can block measures more easily than in other states, as you need something like 60% votes to pass things as opposed to 51%.  Correct me if I'm wrong on this.

So really, what's wrong is that THE CITIZENS of the fabulous state of California are to blame for their completely and utterly dysfunctional form of government, which they could alter if they wished to. 

Actually now that I'm reading the wiki entry for the CA constitution I see that there's currently a coalition formed called "Repair California" -- maybe some of you should get involved and solve the actual cause of these problems:

California Constitutional Convention

In response to a budgetary crisis, several prominent individuals and political organizations are calling for a new constitution.[21] The Bay Area Council, a public-policy advocacy organization, issued a press release in August of 2008 to launch the idea,[22] and co-sponsored a symposium on the subject on February 24, 2009.[23]
A coalition calling itself "Repair California" was formed in 2009 to continue the push for a California constitutional convention.[24] The group plans to submit its proposed measures to the Attorney General by September 25, 2009.[25] This is the first step in the process, after which signatures are solicited from voters.[26] The plan is to obtain the two-thirds majority vote in the legislature and place a new constitution on the ballot for the November 2010 election.[27]
Repair California states that a consensus is emerging to reform these areas:[28]
The structure of governance, particularly the legislative and executive branches
The processes for initiatives and referenda
Campaign finance
Term limits
Changing to the two-thirds requirement for passing a budget
Revenue distribution, particularly between localities and the state
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Offline madbrain

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Re: California Governor's budget puts lives of HIV+ in danger
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2009, 05:57:15 PM »
Yes, the California constitution is messed up. It can be amended by a simple majority vote, as shown by the prop 8 debacle. But to pass new taxes, you need a 2/3rd majority of the people. To pass a budget, you need a 2/3rd majority of the legislature.

Those requirements have been there for at least 31 years, but there was never a crisis as bad as this one before. I think the recession is affecting California worse than many other states. The real estate bubble was strong here, and it will take time to deflate and for prices to get back to reality. In addition unemployment is already higher than the national average. This caused most of the revenue predictions to go out the window. Without rainy day funds, some changes are needed - either service cuts or tax increases.

So far, I have seen mostly discussions of the former. Small government is the republican way after all. I haven't seen any serious discussion of the sort of tax increases that are needed to maintain all services. The only tax increase I have actually seen go into effect is the sales tax, which went up by 1% in april. That's a regressive tax that affects the poor the most. Many of the propositions on the ballot last month were deeply flawed - they increased some taxes, but only temporarily, not permanently, and they also were combined with some service cuts, like mental health services. I could only vote for 3 of the 7 propositions, but 6 of the 7 were defeated.

Somebody needs to put together some real solutions, not band-aid fixes like what we were offered. And yes, that should include lowering the majority requirements to pass taxes. I don't think any vote of the people should be necessary if a simple majority of the legislature agrees.

Online Miss Philicia

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Re: California Governor's budget puts lives of HIV+ in danger
« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2009, 09:30:32 PM »
Seeing as how you represent an inordinate 13% of the US GDP it would benefit the rest of us lackeys if you got your shit together.  If the federal government ends up bailing you out I'm going to have to advocate that California be split up into four separate states.
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline madbrain

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Re: California Governor's budget puts lives of HIV+ in danger
« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2009, 09:40:48 PM »
Seeing as how you represent an inordinate 13% of the US GDP it would benefit the rest of us lackeys if you got your shit together.  If the federal government ends up bailing you out I'm going to have to advocate that California be split up into four separate states.

Actually, I believe Californians have been paying out more in federal taxes than the state receives in federal dollars for years. So, in fact we have been bailing everybody else out all along. Maybe all that's needed is some fair rebalancing.

Online Miss Philicia

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Re: California Governor's budget puts lives of HIV+ in danger
« Reply #15 on: June 10, 2009, 11:50:01 PM »
Actually, I believe Californians have been paying out more in federal taxes than the state receives in federal dollars for years. So, in fact we have been bailing everybody else out all along. Maybe all that's needed is some fair rebalancing.


Yeah, but plenty of other states do that as well, generally the "blule" ones.  My point is still that considering the size of your state's economy, there's no excuse for the lame requirement of 2/3 of the legislature to pass a simple budget.  It's just insane, and the voters bare some responsibility if they won't change this.

For comparison's sake consider that the northeast Boston-Washington corridor has 55 million people, with a comparative GDP representing 20% of the national economy, yet it consists of a dozen states.  Any political dysfunction is more isolated if it's contained in a smaller polity.
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Offline bobino

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Re: California Governor's budget puts lives of HIV+ in danger
« Reply #16 on: June 26, 2009, 12:24:48 AM »
The problem is the idiotic supermajority requirement for passing a budget or increasing taxes.  And I'm not at all certain that these can be amended by a simple majority vote on an initiative.  The recent Prop. 8 decision notwithstanding, repealing the constitutional provisions mandating supermajorities may be just the kind of "structural" change to the constitution that constitutes a "revision."  If that's the case, then it can only be put before the voters by either a two-thirds vote of the Legislature (not gonna happen as long as Republicans exist) or a constitutional convention.

BTW, madbrain's right -- these provisions have been in place for at least 31 years (some even predate that), going back to the passage of Proposition 13.  So if you're going to blame anyone, blame Howard Jarvis and Paul Gann, the backers of Prop. 13 and the California electorate of 1978.  (Digression:  Paul Gann died of AIDS in the 1980s.)
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Offline freaky_dream

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Re: California Governor's budget puts lives of HIV+ in danger
« Reply #17 on: June 27, 2009, 06:50:33 PM »
Here's a Time analysis of prop 13 and the boondoggle that is the California constitution.

http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1904938,00.html

« Last Edit: June 27, 2009, 06:52:05 PM by freaky_dream »

 


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