Thursday, May 28, 2009

Government demands local charity stop helping poor sick people

Koot Karts’ operator awaiting regulations

A local military hero who became successful in civilian life left a legacy to his small hometown: A van service to take the poor and elderly to medical appointments. The rides were free -- though there were donation envelopes for if a rider wanted to make a donation to keep the service afloat.

Now the state has its knickers in a twist. Somebody complained on two counts:

1. The van service provides rides to residents of the founder's hometown of Windber, Pennsylvania. Windber is right on the county line, so some of those people live in Cambria County, not Somerset County where the bulk of the town is. Evidently it's perfectly kosher to transport Somerset County residents to appointments in either county, but it's taboo to transport Cambria County residents to appointments unless they're in Somerset County. I think. It's hard to tell because the state is being very vague about what exactly is so horrible.

2. Because the vans have envelopes aboard inviting riders to donate to keep the service afloat, it's somehow not considered "free" -- even though the donations are NOT mandatory. A rider can use the van service again and again and again without contributing a penny.

They've been given a cease and desist order and threatened with fines of $1000 a day for every day they give free rides to poor, sick people.

What really makes it suck is that nobody's really clear on exactly what the van charity is doing wrong, and why suddenly after all these years it's a problem.

Windber is in a rural area, with very limited public transportation. This van service provides a vital link between needy residents and their necessary medical care. And it does it at no expense to the taxpayers of either county.

Which, it seems, is something the government simply can not tolerate.

Only to a bureaucrat is there some heinous problem with driving poor people to the doctor for free, just out of basic human decency.

And it's these bureaucrats that some people think should be in charge of our health care.

No, thanks.

1 comment:

WKen said...

I'm reminded of when the Sisters of Mercy, Mother Teresa's group, was forming a shelter in NYC. They had a ramp, but couldn't afford an elevator. When asked how they were going to get people in who were truly handicapped, a nun answered that they'd carry people if they had to.

The officials said that that wasn't good enough for New York. The shelter never opened.

Ummm ... how is that a win for anyone?

You're right, only a bureaucrat!