Thursday, May 18, 2006

Kudos to Carlos Guerra

Letter to the Editor: Columnist Predicted We'd Pay Later
San Antonio Express-News5/18/2006

"Pay now or pay later" accurately describes the economics of delayed care, whether for cars, roofs ... or people's health and human needs. We will be paying heavily for the problems resulting from the legislative consolidation of 12 Texas health and human service agencies into one and by the privatization of those services.

Contracting the services to a company (Accenture) whose goal is to make a profit, not necessarily to serve the people of Texas well, has already proven to be a mistake. Aside from the financial losses, we will be paying inordinately for health and emotional problems resulting from lack of help for those deserving it.

It is critical that people are able to function effectively as students, workers, leaders ... and taxpayers. To do so requires a healthy body and emotional stability. Productivity and a sound economy are assured only if people can assume the requisite roles. It behooves us all to promote this.

Columnist Carlos Guerra has chronicled well the problems of this legislative endeavor to avoid "paying now" and predicting accurately the problems we are facing by assuming that "paying later" will be effective.

Ruth F. Stewart, RN
San Antonio

San Antonio Express-News5/18/2006

Thank you for Carlos Guerra's columns on the meltdown at the Health and Human Services Commission.

I worked for that agency for 13 years and was a supervisor until I left in August because things were already spinning out of control. I no longer had a job I could count on due to the planned layoff of more than half our staff.

I tried to get my elected representatives to listen to my warnings of where things were headed and ran into a brick wall.

Now these same representatives are beginning to ask what happened. What happened is that they pushed through a major overhaul of a state agency without listening to any of the people who were making that agency work, and now the state is suffering the consequences.
We have a $300 million computer system that was supposed to be rolled out in 2001 and still doesn't work. We have a call center privatized system that is a complete failure. We have local offices that have imploded and have almost no staff left. And we have people who are need help who are waiting six months to get a response when the law says they should have to wait only 30 days.

Guerra is the only writer in the mainstream media saying the things those of us who know what's happening up close would like to have said.

John Whiteford (He has a blog also, which is linked here!)

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