Why else would he cut off services like this to give tax breaks to the rich?
Three years ago, Jessica couldn’t walk into a Fashion Bug without anxiety overwhelming her.
She is 25, and has a form of schizophrenia as well as bipolar disorder. She was asked to tell her story to a statewide conference for the Clubhouse Coalition, a psychiatric rehabilitation program that helps mentally ill people learn social and workplace skills that can help them find success in their communities.
For the last three years, Jessica has traveled by Paratransit each day to the Cornerstone Clubhouse in Phoenixville, where her favorite activity is answering the phone.
That’s going to end July 15.
The state Medical Assistance Transportation Program has determined that although it is proper for Medicare to reimburse the cost of Jessica’s daily services at Clubhouse, it will no longer pay the cost of her traveling there.
She is one of thousands of mentally ill people who are trying to understand why their routines must change.
Advocates across the state are deeply troubled. I’m with them.
“They’re funding the program, but cutting off the transportation. We are floored,” said Lu Mauro, a director of a Clubhouse in Sellersville, and an advisory board member of the state Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services.
She and others I spoke to predict the decision will save money in the short term and cost more in the end – and that doesn’t even begin to account for the human toll.
“You’re going to find them in hospitals,” Mauro predicted. “You’re going to find them in prisons.”