Today’s Globe lead editorial puts the discussion about overriding funds for the zoo and health care needs in clear perspective:
. . . Yes, we like animals, too. But the state’s current budget will certainly cause pain to living, breathing human beings. We only wish that a $10 million reduction in prescription drugs for the elderly, for instance, caused half the indignation that greeted the potential loss of zoo money.
As lawmakers consider today which of Patrick’s budget vetoes to override, we hope they’ll look both at the bottom line and at human needs. When Patrick signed the budget late last month, he also rejected a number of other spending provisions to make room for a $70 million healthcare program for legal (read: tax-paying) immigrants. Legislators had reluctantly cut the program, Senate Ways and Means Chairman Steven Panagiotakos said in an interview, in part because, unlike other health initiatives, it receives no federal match.
The administration still makes a persuasive case for the health program; without it, some legal residents of the state will end up sicker and will rely on costly emergency care. …
A community nonprofit such as Zoo New England has the option of raising private money. Some sick and elderly residents of Massachusetts have no options at all.