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December 24, 2005

A Cruel Christmas by Carol Wolman, MD

By carol wolman, MD

The last-minute budget cuts hit the elderly and disabled very hard.


I have a large practice, with many patients who are elderly or on disability, and who rely on a check of about $800/month to survive. Rent takes at least half of this. People on SSI do not receive food stamps, so their survival is marginal, and they are $100/month away from homelessness. Their medical expenses and necessary pharmaceutical drugs are covered by MediCare and MediCal.

The US government magnanimously awarded a raise of $10/month to SSI recipients, and here in California, Gov. Ahnold quickly deducted the same amount from the state's portion of the payment, even though the CA state treasury is now in the black. So these disabled people do not get their cost-of-living increase.

About two weeks ago, MediCare notified its beneficiaries and pharmacies, but not physicians, that patients would have to cough up a co-pay for their drugs, and some would no longer be covered. This set off a panic among this population.

Yesterday, 3 days before Christmas, NPR announced that as of January 1st, due to the MediCal cuts in the Federal budget- MediCal no longer will cover prescription drugs. This means that many of my patients may have to pay several hundred dollars per month to keep taking life-saving medications. They will no longer be able to afford rent. Of course, these budget cuts go to subsidize tax cuts for the rich!

Merry Christmas! Judgment will surely descend on this wicked land! If only Jesus would truly soften the hearts of the legislators toward the poor and elderly!

Malachi 3: 23-24Lo, I will send you
Elijah, the prophet,
Before the day of the LORD comes,
the great and terrible day,
To turn the hearts of the fathers to their children,
and the hearts of the children to their fathers,
Lest I come and strike
the land with doom.

In the name of the Prince of Peace, Carol Wolman, MD

Authors Website:

Authors Bio:

Carol S. Wolman, MD is a psychiatrist in Northern California. A lifelong peace activist, she is helping to distribute a Peace Plan for the Holy Land- email her for a copy. She also a film producer with Paradise Cove Productions, currently producing HOTEL REFINEMENT- a feature film noir with a subtheme about torture, Guantanamo, and killing Arabs.