Governor Corbett’s proposed budget 2011/2012 includes a strategy to collapse several medical programs including sickle cell disease (SCD) in to one line item and to cut this line item by 45%. The result of such a cut will be devastating to this vulnerable population.
It is estimated that more than 10,000 persons with SCD in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will undoubtedly be left without access to essential specialty care services through the hospitals and community based programs. The effects of funding cuts since 2007 (in the hundreds of thousands of dollars) have rendered current services to the bare minimum. Any additional cut would defunct this system of coordinated care for children and adults who rely on the Hematology/Oncology departments across Pennsylvania to remain healthy.
Excruciating pain is the hallmark of SCD. The number of pain crisis is directly proportional to the risk of death from complications of SCD. Preventing and treating pain crisis effectively must then be our goal while we wait for researchers to find a universal cure.
The effect of the elimination of specialty care in Pennsylvania for patients with SCD
· Dismantling of systems of coordinated care across the state
· Loss of access to specialty physicians and community based organizations
· Increases in emergency room visits and subsequent burden on Medicaid/Medicare
· Widespread, severe increases mortality and morbidity
Living with chronic illness is difficult even when there is access to proper care and support. Governor Corbett must find other ways of balancing the budget that does not include taking from the most vulnerable among us. We are aking you to sign this petition to urge Governor Corbett to :
· preserve the medical programs line item for sickle cell disease
· eliminate the 45% cut
WE NEED YOUR HELP!