Friday, February 09, 2007

A Tale of Two Cities, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.

The public is rightly horrified by a story from Southern California, but likely ignorant of its corollary on the East Coast.

In Los Angeles a hospital van dropped off a paraplegic man on Skid Row, allegedly leaving him crawling in the street with nothing more than a soiled gown and a broken colostomy bag, police said.

Witnesses who said they saw the incident Thursday wrote down a phone number on the van and took down its license-plate number, which helped detectives connect the vehicle to Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center, the Los Angeles Times reported on its Web site.

Police said the incident was a case of "homeless dumping" and were questioning officials from the hospital.

While not defending the hospital, what systems exist for helping disabled, low income people? In our nation’s capital President Bush revealed his budget for 2008.

The Bush Administration has again proposed cutting funding for the Section 811 program in half. Section 811 is the only program at HUD that provides supportive housing for non-elderly, low-income people with disabilities. Overall funding for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) would shrink by 8% under the President’s proposed FY 2008 budget, to $35.2 billion.

Will the Los Angeles City Attorney charge President Bush with a crime should housing funds for the disabled poor be slashed as proposed? Our nation’s CEO had this to say about the budget:

And I appreciate Director Portman helping us devise a plan that sets priorities and, at the same time, emphasizes fiscal restraint. Our priority is to protect the American people.

How does it protect the man dumped in Skid Row, Mr. President?

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