Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Homelessness, heating oil, health care: Bad news just keeps on coming
Don't look at the Boston Globe this morning if you don't want to be depressed.
Heating oil: Citgo Petroleum Corp., a Venezuelan oil company, will no longer be making donations of oil to Citizens Energy Corp, a non-profit which has provided heating oil at reduced cost to low-income people and Native American communities in 23 states. Declining oil prices-- which means declining profit-- is cited as the chief reason.
Homelessness: The number of homeless families living in shelters or motels in Boston has jumped 22 percent in one year. (I imagine it's similar across the state.) Reason? "For families, it's really about insufficient income to afford a place to live," said Jim Greene, director of the city's Emergency Shelter Commission. "Family homelessness is caused by the divide between people's incomes and housing costs, and when the gap is too great the problem gets worse."
Health Care: Increasing health care costs around the state are jeopardizing the state's new mandated health insurance plan. Meanwhile, Tufts Medical Center in Boston has announced it will no longer accept Blue Cross/Blue Sheild health insurance because the reimbursement rates from the insurer are too low for the medical center to operate efficiantly. A sign of things to come?