Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Resident urges state lawmakers to reconsider cuts to health care program

Columbia resident Barry Ford, a dialysis patient, has sent a letter to state lawmakers urging them to reconsider cuts to the Pennsylvania Chronic Renal Disease Program, which he depends on. The letter is reprinted here with permission:

March 7, 2017

Governor Tom Wolf
Office of the Governor
508 Main Capitol Building
Harrisburg, PA, 17120

Senator Ryan Aument
301 East Main Street
Lititz, PA, 17543

Representative Dave Hickernell
236 Locust Street
Columbia, PA, 17512

Gentlemen:

I have been on kidney dialysis since May of 2016 and was recently enrolled in the Pennsylvania Chronic Renal Disease Program, which assists patients like myself with the costs of my treatments and disease.

The CRDP helps pay for my medication, transportation such as public transportation, shared ride, non emergency ambulance, Medicare Part D premium coverage and the overall cost of my dialysis.

This week, I was informed that there are major and even drastic cuts to this program in the 2017-18 budget by Governor Tom Wolf. The current budget for the program is $7.9 million, with the proposed cuts of 85 percent, the new budget figure is $1.3 million.

This cannot happen for people like myself and thousands of others in Pennsylvania who have kidney issues and are on dialysis and looking forward to a future transplant.

We, I, need this program to remain healthy. Without it or any cuts in the program, I, we, may not be able to afford the cost of medication needed to fight this disease or the treatments needed and even a transplant.

It is critical that this vital program be retained and fully funded as I want to live a long time and fight this disease to the best of my ability. Without it, I will be unable to continue that fight or afford what lies ahead of me.

I appreciate your service to the residents of this great state and would hope this valuable program isn't cut and remains funded to the maximum. It is a very important program to not only people like myself but our families and friends as well.

Look forward to hearing from you about my concerns.

Barry Ford
Columbia

6 comments:

  1. It's not the ownly program that will suffer. I understand your issue.
    Welfare fraud needs to be addressed severely, along with other abusers of the Government.

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  2. Barry, my prayers and thoughts reach out to all those fighting any long term illness. If the state can spend money on placing mile markers every tenth of mile on Rt.30, they can surely find the funds to fund this program. Wolf seems so concerned about the opioids problem that he is pushing other programs to the side.

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    1. Yes, I agree the opioid problem seems now to be top priority. No one is choosing kidney disease. At some point the addict made the decision to start using. The state is pouring tons of money into saving the lives of these addicts. It has become socially acceptable now to say someone is an "addict." It's totally unpopular to say anything against helping those that are addicted. I recall hearing recently that Wolf set aside 10 million for the opioid epidemic.

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  3. Drug overdose is now the leading cause of accidental deaths in Pennsylvania. "Accidental?" by now those picking up the needle know that this action could lead to an overdose, it's no accident. I feel very sorry for all involved, but where do you draw the line with helping? When does this become "enabling?"

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  4. As long as these politicians have the healthcare they have they will never feel your pain. Its ashamed that in a democratic society the leaders lavish themselves with perks their constituents can only dream of.

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  5. It amazes me that when a disaster happens

    in a foreign country that despises the USA, we send millions of dollars to it ,no questions asked. But, when a person has a serious,life threatening illness, state and the federal government will cut funding for those individuals. Gov. Wolf, Pres. Trump,open your eyes and provide the funds for people that need it. They did not ask for kidney,heart and cancer. I did not ask for cancer,but would appreciate more aid to help with expenses in dealing with it.

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