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Jan. 12, 2009

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The cuts facing the state will have a catastrophic effect on not-for-profit agencies that provide services to the poor, the uninsured, and the high risk population. Nevada Children's Center is one such not-for-profit.

2008 was a difficult year for us and equally difficult for most of the not-for-profit's providing medical and social services care. After the State of Nevada reduced our reimbursement rate 25% for the after school program in January, 2008, we were hit with a 40% decrease in reimbursement for the in-home treatment program.

This scenario is being played almost universally in Nevada's not-for-profit agencies. I worry that by the end of 2009, we might see 50% or more of these agencies close.

Ultimately, the under-served can only be assisted in the presence of a benevolent and compassionate society (or, the very least, a smart-selfish society with enough forethought to know that what we don't fix now will later be paid for many times over. In the case of the Center's children, society would pay through the cost of broken families, more foster care, increased psychiatric care, increased crime, and more prisons; In the case of those providing essential preventative care, increased cost of late or end-stage medical care to all taxpayers; And, in the case of education funding, a future of poorly educated adults with an inability to contribute competitively with better-educated citizens of foreign countries.). The slim majority of the Nevada population is proving to be neither benevolent and compassionate, nor smartly selfish.

We are divided between those who staunchly refuse any public-funding-based plan to bring this state into a more respectable standing, and those who want a society that is healthy, educated, and caring for one another-and are willing to pay for it.

Nevada Children's Center will do everything that it can to survive. In the mean time, the citizens of this great State must search their souls for the moral justification of turning our backs on the sick, the needy, and the youth of our society for to save a few bucks. And for those who find solace in the notion that they know the right moral path that man must walk, they now must ask themselves whether the representatives who they voted in office, actually serve, in the bigger picture, that path. I think that they will find that the ones in the trenches, educating the youth, serving the poor, the sick, and the destitute, walk that path with more grace and unprotested devotion, than any politician ever could. I cannot help but think that we are only as great and virtuous a people as the actions we take to pull the fallen to their feet, and the youth toward a greater tomorrow. Presently we are looking more and more like a selfish, that is a stupidly selfish, state. God help us all.

(Suggest removal) 1/12/09 at 6:21 p.m.

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