My most challenging activity is trying to sort through the pages and pages of assorted sites dedicated to the advocacy of addicts and the psychologically ill. Go to the “How You Can Help” page on most of these sites and it’s all about fund raising. Join a walk, have a bake sale. I don’t want to raise money to study the fucking problem. And why should it cost money to try to move a bill through its paces?
Of course, it always comes down to money. That’s why so many addicts and the mentally disabled people are either without insurance entirely, or only getting care through ERs, county-funded (make that underfunded) facilities and crap insurance like Medi-Cal or Medicaid. No one wants to put money into funding proper training, adequate support, and sufficient insurance coverage for what society has apparently decided are ‘throw away people’. Like the poor, mentally ill people and addicts are treated like they did something to deserve their current situation. Just like poor people should work harder, an addict should just quit using, Mrs. Conservative Christian Republican says. (Actually, that was real advice given to my son by an MD.) What people don’t seem to realize is that without help the addict is quite unlikely to achieve sobriety. Just like without our help our poor are dying on the streets for lack of care.
The GOP of the past 15 years or so is responsible for there being more poor, more mentally ill without care, and more homelessness. Why? Because every bill that comes along designed to help people is watered down or destroyed by their manipulation. Why? Because they have decided that those with are not obliged to help those without. Mostly it’s because there is NO MONEY to be made in helping people. What we have is a political system favoring the rich and powerful, with laws designed to help them avoid paying taxes that fund programs like Welfare, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, and the Affordable Care Act.
So here I am trying to figure out how to try to impliment change. I’m still trying to filter through all the various groups involved in trying to make policy changes. I guess I kind of get why there are so many websites and groups, and other pages since each of us has their own ideas on how to accomplish change, but if we could pool our resources and our energy toward changing laws to reach complete reform it would seem to guarantee success. I know it will be slow. Evolution is a slow process.