Lou spent around $80,000 campaigning for NACo to bring Cumberland County the highly touted Prescription Card Program. In an article in the Daily Journal this morning, Joe Smith claimed that Lou Magazzu “is under attack from Republican and a slate of dissident Democrats for his involvement with NACo.”
Lou is NOT under attack for his involvement in NACo
Is it even possible to get a straight story from the media? Joe, Magazzu is NOT under attack because of his “involvement with NACo.” Magazzu is under attack because he took a personal no-interest loan from the Democratic party for his personal campaign. Lou is under attack because he lied about having a PAC, which turned out to be a personal bank account. Lou is under fire because he took $80,000 in contributions to his fake PAC, from people and companies that do very lucrative business with the county. Lou is under fire because he failed to declare these gifts as such, as required by law. Lou is under fire because of the appearance of pay-to-play and graft.
Why do we need the card program?
An interesting sentence in the article stated:
(Nancy) Egan (county health development specialist) said 73 percent of people using the card fall below the federal poverty level. Forty-eight percent of those are unemployed, she said.
The real issue here is why does Cumberland County have such a high rate of unemployment (13% in July, and climbing)? The real issue is why do we have so many living below the poverty level. Lou Magazzu has had 12 years to reverse this trend, and Cumberland County is still in last place (or first place depending on how you look at it.)
Therein lies the rub. Lou and his merry band of cohorts have failed to address the real issues facing the county. Instead, they create band-aids, doubling county spending and taxes in six years in order to throw good money after bad in social programs that are obviously not staunching the flow. But they haven’t stopped even once to consider that they might be doing something wrong. They refuse to consider that there might be other options or solutions. in fact anybody that even suggests another solution will be berated publicly and humiliated by a public official if they dare speak up at a Freeholder meeting.
How much money did Lou spend to bring the prescription card program to the county. How many trips across the United States? How much for NACo membership? Lou acts as if there is NO OTHER OPTION to get these cards. He acts as if he is a savior, or Moses bringing Manna from Heaven!
In fact, prescription cards are a dime a dozen. No, strike that. They are a dozen for FREE! That’s right. Walk into any pharmacy in Cumberland County, and the pharmacist will assist you in obtaining a FREE prescription cards that will give anywhere from 25% to 40% discounts on name-brand drugs.
Okay, you want the CVS/CareMark card that Lou spent $80,000 to bring to the county. You don’t care about the legal problems that have plagued CareMark and CVS, the unethical sharing of private medical information, charging Universities driving UP prescription costs, or the many lawsuits. Just go to the CareMark website and sign up for free. Voilà! No need to spend county money mailing cards to every resident.
Our problem is not whether or not a prescription card is a good thing or not. I know many people that have the cards on their fridge, but cannot use them because they cannot even afford health insurance or a doctor’s visit. Wouldn’t the enormous amount of money spent on NACo trips have been better put towards attracting new jobs to the county that pay a livable wage? Wouldn’t the money have been better put towards ensuring that our employers can afford to offer health benefits to their employees?