By Neal H. Brodsky, MPA, LMFT
My father, now 93 was a tank gunner in World War II who battled his way up the coast to liberate Italy. Time after time, he would fill in as a replacement for someone on leave and the next day after moving on to his new assignment, he found out that the gunner he was replacing had been killed. As he says, “the German shells would go right through our tanks and take your head off with it.” He says our tanks just didn’t have the protective armor… My dad, after seeing this time after time along with “hundreds of men cut down in front of him” was “shell-shocked.” The thing of it was, it seems that some of our soldiers were killed by our own planes. “You knew the planes were ours because of the whining sound as they dropped down to strafe what they didn’t know were their own troops.”
Today as I write, my dad’s life is threatened in a much different way as some in the U.S. Congress plan to end the Medical Tax Deduction that makes his care at home, though barely affordable, possible. If the 2017 “Tax Reform” package goes through unchallenged, my dad, because of the limits of his fixed income would likely have little option other than forced institutionalization under Medicaid, where he would die, separated from his family. My dad is not alone. There are millions of our fellow citizens facing similar consequences. People with disabilities. Children who are chronically ill. How many will be forced to forego the services they need to survive? Is this the “gift” the White House plans to give us for the 2017 Holiday season? Let’s call this by its true name – a Disability Tax which includes a special penalty for Aging.
Something about this reminds me of U.S. planes coming down too fast over cloud-shrouded mountains in 1943 with the wrong targets in their “sights.” Maybe today, we would be wise to take a careful look to see who and what we’re really aiming at, before we dive down….