I work for a county government in California. My specific job? I supervise the clerical staff that begins the process for people who are applying for Medi Cal. We take the initial request for an application and get the process started. Once the application is returned, we hold the application and (technically) assign them according to application date, the need for services (pregnant? long-term care? do you need expedited services?) to an eligibility worker who then processes the application (granted or denied).
I have right now over 2,000 applications in my unit. Some are dated back as far as August of this year. I cannot assign the cases because county does not have enough workers.
The estimation is that we are going to be getting approximately 45 to 60 thousand MORE applications beginning January 1, 2014.
It takes approximately 8 weeks to train a Eligibility Worker (EW). It is intensive and it is tough. It requires someone who is detailed oriented, organized, computer savvy, and willing to work hard. They have to be patient and they have to be kind.
They also have to be paid and we do not have the money to pay them.
Let's pretend, for a moment, that I could wave a magic wand and tomorrow morning there would be 150 fully trained, ready to work EW(s). Let's say, just for skittles and giggles, that they were going to be totally dedicated to just working Medi Cal cases.
There is no place to put them.
We do not have desk space, computer set up, licenses for the Records Management System we use, telephone lines, all the infrastructure necessary for people to do their job. We do not have anywhere to put anyone.
We need to either rent or build new work space.
We do not have the money to do get new work space.
SO...this is what we are facing:
We have NOW over 2k cases we cannot process because we don't have the people to do the work.
We cannot hire the people to work the cases because we do not have the money to hire them.
If we did have the money to hire them, and we did have the people hired, we have no place to put them.
We cannot get the necessary space because we do not have the money to purchase/rent/build that space.
I do not see how any of this is going to work. I really don't - and I am not a Tea Party member or someone who thinks Obama was born in Nigeria or wherever people think he was born.
I do not see how this is going to work because of being a simple minded woman.
Being a simple minded woman has its advantages - when we do our own lives, we have to do things like not spend money we don't have, go places we cannot afford or otherwise live in a way that is unsustainable. If we do, we end up on the street or living in a car or becoming an urban camper.
Now, I will tell you that I am also a woman of HOPE.
Being a Catholic, I know that God has my back and all things are possible with God. I spent this morning reading Holy Scripture for the celebration of Mass, partaking of The Eucharist and feeling as though I am a part of something that is so powerful and so amazing...The Church will not fail. The Church is my refuge. Jesus Christ is my Salvation.
So, today I have to hold tight to the Hope. I hold tight to it because I honest to GOD have no other option. I want to be helpful, I want to serve people....but the problem is I cannot do it right now because it is impossible.
Life is hard. I am not going to give in to despair. I am not going to give in to frustration. I am going to continue to pray and hope.
Real Hope....Real Change....that is only available through Our Lord.