Mon Oct 09 2017

Gloria in Maryland

In November of 2016, my 46 year old husband, who had always been in good health, had a severe stroke. We were told that he might not live, but he did. Months of rehab have helped him recover some of his abilities. He walks, but with assistance or a walker, and he talks, although he still struggles to find words. He has very poor short term memory and cannot make good decisions. He was my family's breadwinner, and I had worked part- time outside the home so I could be there for our 2 young teens. Now he can't function well enough to work. Now Carlos is unable to even be left alone for very long, so he goes to adult medical daycare while I work part time. All of my waking hours are focused on him and my children. Our kids help in his care, but we also get support from a paid caregiver, paid for by a Medicaid program. If we lost our insurance for any reason, especially for Carlos's pre-existing condition, my family would lose everything. If we lost even a part of the Medicaid assistance, I would not be able to work. Please save these programs.

Thu Jul 27 2017

Erin in Illinois

Had Medicaid not been an option available to my family, I would not have been able to continue pursuing higher education when my grandmother entered a skilled nursing facility and spent down all her savings on rehabilitative services following hemorrhaging caused by a brain aneurysm. I was raised by a single mother, who in turn was supported by my grandmother for much of my childhood. Unfortunately, my mother died of breast cancer in 2006, three years before my grandmother fell ill, and four years before the passage of the ACA. My mother was uninsured when her breast cancer was diagnosed at an advanced stage, and she refused treatments she feared would not only be painful, but also too costly. I wonder at times if ACA had been available to her, if she would have been diagnosed earlier, or in the very least, if she would have been spared the sort of life-and-death calculus that characterized the last months she spent visiting doctors and hearing from bill collections services.

My life course has been significantly affected by the availability of health care to members of my family, but I count myself among the lucky. At least my grandmother benefited from the existence of a safety net that not only saved and extended her life, but enriched her final years once she was placed in a quality senior living facility. She relearned basic skills such as how to speak and how to walk with minimal assistance, made new friends within her community, and reconnected with family members who could rest assured that she was provided with world class, round the clock assistance that we would never have been able to rival in a home care setting. If she had not qualified to Medicaid, I don't know how my family would have managed to provide her with the care she needed. In the meantime, I was able to finish my studies and find a stable, good paying job in downtown Chicago. I support myself and am in the process of starting my own family. I know in my heart, none of that would have been possible had I been in the position of having to care full time for my grandmother in her final years.

I hope that members of Congress will keep families like mine in mind as they move forward with health care reform. The proposed bills that have made their way through the House, and now the Senate, have carelessly promoted the decimation of many provisions and protections necessary for Americans seeking adequate coverage. I may not be a member of the political elite or the healthcare industry, but I pay taxes and I vote. American citizens such as me deserve to be a part of the conversation, and we are watching closely how well our voices are being heard by our elected representatives.

Thu Jul 27 2017

Catherine in Iowa

I have had to work in jobs that were large enough to include my son with a chronic lung disease from birth. I had to fight for insurance payments for all of his care from 1986 though 2009 when finally Medicaid expansion allowed him to have coverage when he had aged off my family plan and had almost completed the extend of COBRA. Even with coverage, his health costs were generally $8-12,000 per year. What options will be available for him if pre-existing conditions are dropped and if Medicaid does not include men who can't work. He is now on SSI Disability but, so many things are not covered with Medicare. This is not his fault, he doesn't deserve this lack of care from his government.

Wed Jul 26 2017

Rebecca in Montana

My adult son needs Medicaid to afford his medicine and see a doctor to keep his mental illness in check. He cant' keep a job right now, but we are hoping with Medicaid assistance he gets the needed treatment so he can live independently. He's a brilliant computer programmer who has an illness. Without ACA, my family's life would have been destroyed. Lose our son to this illness due to no treatment? Lose our house to pay for his care? It is horrible to think what would become of my son if we can't get the needed care for him.

Wed Jul 26 2017

Emily in Michigan

I'm a medical student. Because of Medicaid expansion, one of my patients, a young mother, received treatment for a rare and life-threatening brain condition, after being told by 3 other hospitals that her condition was all in her head. Her hospital stay took months, but she and her family are now on the road to rehabilitation.

Wed Jul 26 2017

Rebecca in Pennsylvania

My daughter, Mia, is autistic. She's 4, and Medicaid helps pay for her additional speech therapy and her TSS worker at school. We're extremely worried that massive cuts to Medicaid would limit her access to services that have helped her grow and thrive. We want her to be as independent as possible someday and reach her full potential. This is not possible without Medicaid.


Wed Jul 26 2017

Katie in Texas

The BCRA dramatically & negativity impacts our family. I have a disabled 5-year-old niece, Olivia, who depends on the ACA’s ban on yearly and lifetime benefits caps as well as Medicaid for secondary insurance to cover costs of care that her parents’ employer healthcare insurance does not cover.

Olivia has a progressive neuromuscular disease called Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) that has no cure and is terminal. SMA affects the part of the nervous system that controls voluntary muscle movement including the legs, arms, lungs and GI tract.

If the BCRA is passed into law, the combination of Texas waiving the ban on yearly and lifetime caps on benefits and the cutting of Essential Health Benefits (EHBs) coupled with Texas’ $1.5 billion cut to their Medicaid program will result in Olivia losing access to the only drug that has been approved by the FDA to halt the progression of her disease.

Spinraza, which was one of the test cases for the 21st Century Cures Act, is a game changer to the SMA community. However, because the drug can cost up to $750,000 a year, if a state is able to waive the EHBs & the ban on benefit caps, patients who have been on Spinraza will lose access to the drug and face a dramatic regression in their newly developed physical abilities and the rates of mortality will rise again.

Spinraza has enabled Olivia go from a baby who never achieve her physical milestones, including controlling her bowels and breathing unassisted, to being able to walk over 150 steps at a time with the assistance of a walker.

Before Spinraza, she was riddled with panic attacks because she knew she was different and was frustrated seeing her twin sister achieving physical milestones she could not achieve. But after two years on Spinraza, Olivia has turned into a confident pre-kindergartner who loves her independence and being able to participate in the same physical activities (with adaptations) as her twin sister.

Please do not take away Olivia’s independence.

Please hold hearings so you can truly understand the impact of this proposed bill and the millions of disabled people it would harm.

Olivia

Olivia


Wed Jul 26 2017

Margaret in Massachusetts

My mother-in-law is at a point physically and mentally where she must be moved to a nursing home. She worked hard all her life and has good savings, but her resources will be depleted within two years. At that point,she would be covered by Medicaid, which currently covers two-thirds of all people in nursing homes. The drastic reduction toMedicaid funding in the BCRA is a huge concern to our family.

Please amend the BCRA to continue the expansion of Medicaid underlying Obamacare and continue the federal funding for the original program.

52

52


Wed Jul 26 2017

Karin in Massachusetts

I am concerned that people who are victims of terrorism will not get the services they need if the BCRA is enacted. A friend of mine ran the Boston Marathon in 2013, the year of the bombing. Victims of that incident required endless surgeries to save limbs, had limbs amputated, prostheses required, and many lost their jobs due to an inability to work. Without Medicaid, they may not be able to receive the treatment they needed. If this bill is passed, how many innocent victims of terrorism will die or go bankrupt after the next act of terrorism or violence?

Please amend the BCRA and/or AHCA so that all victims of terrorism or violence are covered for the 10 Essential Services mandated by the ACA with no lifetime caps.

41

41


Wed Jul 26 2017

Susan in Massachusetts

I have rheumatoid arthritis,and I am on self-injected medication that I must take twice a month, along with five oral medications. The retail cost of my medications is over $6,000 a month. Because my income is low, my medication cost is covered by Medicaid although I do have a $25 co-pay. If I were to lose Medicaid now, or in the next ten years, my medical expenses would likely exceed my ability to find a job that would pay for them, and I would end up in a wheel chair or worse.

Please amend the BCRA to eliminate the proposed cuts in Medicaid and require that prescriptions be offered as a required Essential Service. I understand that 45% of the $800 billion-dollar tax cut being proposed in the Senate bill will go to people earning in excess of $850,000 per year. I have not heard any of them claiming that they need to put me and others like me in wheel chairs or worse so that they can get a tax cut.

Wed Jul 26 2017

Pam in Massachusetts

In the 1960s, beforeAmerica had any kind of universal health coverage, my grandmother was diagnosed with bladder cancer. She was operated on at Mass General, and every day her bill was presented on her breakfast tray. She did not have the resources to pay, and this was the source of intense anxiety. When she was sent home, she was not given any outpatient rehab services or follow-up nurse visits. When her leg started turning black, she did not seek treatment as she was still being hounded by the hospital for her previous bill. By the time she was seen, the leg had gangrene and ultimately had to be amputated.

The kind of rollbacks of coverage embodied in the BCRA would mean a return to this kind of tragedy for millions of Americans

The BCRA needs to be amended so that the 10 essential services continue to be covered without crippling deductibles or any lifetime caps.

Wed Jul 26 2017

Naomi in Massachusetts

The 50-year-old, self-employed woman who cleans my house once a month is a true professional. She has been cleaning houses and doing housekeeping for 20 years. As a result of her labor, she has injured her back and shoulder. She must limit the hours she can work. She is not disabled, but her prospects are very limited. She is very independent and proud of her self-sufficiency, but she is vulnerable. She has no other marketable skill.

Medical treatment,including physical therapy, has made it possible for her to continue working despite her physical vulnerability. Her annual income is below $40,000. Without governmental assistance, she would not be able to afford insurance. (She lives in a shared apartment with shared bathroom, not exactly luxury for someone who has worked hard for over 20 years and is approaching old age.) Without insurance, she could not get the therapy that enables her to keep working. And, of course, she would not have access to medical care should she develop any other medical condition, which is likely for someone her age.

Our uncertain economy and its lack of security for all workers means that any of us could lose sources of income at any time. The human toll in illness and anxiety is terrible. A wealthy country like ours should provide a better floor of security for its citizens. I propose as an amendment that by 2030 we will complete a transition to a national program of Medicare for all.

Meanwhile, I urge that the BCRA be amended to require that rehabilitative and habilitative services be included as a non-waivable essential service. Thousands, if not millions of people’s work prospects depend upon the availability of physical therapy after they are injured or struck down by illness. Cutting the requirement that insurance and Medicaid provide these services, or increasing deductibles to effectively make them out-of-reach,is short-sighted and ultimately costly for the entire nation.

Wed Jul 26 2017

Lydia in Massachusetts

A close friend's daughter has had multiple hospitalizations and outpatient treatment for ulcerative colitis. As part of her treatment she was prescribed prescriptions for pain under a doctor's care. When she was in her early thirties my friend’s daughter developed an opioid addiction.

Opioid addiction is now so wide-spread that more people in the United States die from overdoses than from car accidents. People with opioid addiction often face a long costly course of care, but they can lead happy productive lives if treatment is available, and their condition is not stigmatized.

Reducing Medicaid by 25 percent will devastate the recovery prospects of many opioid addicted Americans and impair the ability of the many wonderful organizations and agencies that work with them to function.

Trying to disguise the horrendous impact of Medicaid cuts by creating a $2 billion (or even a $10 billion) dollar opiate fund does not begin to address the issue. Even Republican Senators have estimated the real cost of fighting the opiate epidemic to be more than $40 billion without Medicaid cuts. The $2 billion proposed in the Senate bill is less than a single fine levied against Google for allegedly skewing its browser search results.

I propose that the BCRA be amended so that Medicaid funding is NOT reduced, and that the BCRA, like the Affordable Care Act, cover opioid related treatment and other substance abuse treatment under all insurance policies. Eliminating a requirement for EssentialServices that includes substance abuse treatment or rehabilitative care is cruel to the hundreds of thousands of Americans (to say nothing of their children and families) who have a chance at a happy and productive life with supportive treatment.

Mon Jul 24 2017

Nancer in Massachusetts

My own child and my friends’ children have needed unanticipated health care ranging from asthma interventions to in-patient treatment for mental health issues or eating disorders, to neuroblastoma that required two bone marrow transplants, to emergency heart surgery. In each case they were lucky enough to have parents with employer-provided insurance that covered the services that they needed and provided other support services from their savings. However, there are at least as many children in families that need the same services but do not have comprehensive employer-provided insurance or an emergency savings fund.

Dr. Fernando Stein, President of the American Academy ofPediatrics has noted that the Senate bill includes misleading so-called ‘protections’ for children with medically complex health issues by purportedly exempting them from certain Medicaid cuts.”

Paying lip service to certain children through “carve-outs”does little protect children’s coverage when the funding of the program providing the coverage is cut by 25%. If you don’t think 25% is a lot, imagine that four kids in your children’s school contracted an illness and the principal informed each of the parents that one of the four children would not receive the treatment required to recover.

Stripping the Medicaid program of hundreds of billions of dollars and transferring responsibility for health care to the states through inadequate block grants will force states to chip away at coverage for needed services and/or fail to adequately cover children living in poverty who do not have complex health conditions. In other words, the Senate and House bills as currently constructed are forcing states to play “Sophie’s Choice,” with their children.

Medicaid currently allows a college student with cerebral palsy to live independently. Medicaid pays for a toddler’s wheelchair, and as he grows over time, it covers the next one and the one after that.” The damage that will be done if Congress fails to provide adequate coverage for children and teenagers with complex and normal health issues will be incalculable.

I urgently propose that the BCRA be amended to maintain current Medicaid funding levels (or increased if that is appropriate) unless and until it has been demonstrated for three consecutive years that all ten essential services defined in the Affordable Care Act can be provided to everyone who would qualify under current Medicaid rules.


Mon Jul 24 2017

Amy in Massachusetts

I have End Stage Renal Disease and for the last two years I have been receiving dialysis treatment 3x/weekly at a local clinic. I am seeking a kidney transplant as an alternative treatment. I am over 65 so I was already eligible forMedicare, but I am not eligible for standard Medicaid coverage. I have obtained secondary insurance to cover the 20% that is not covered by Medicare for these treatments, and for doctors’ visits and other services that are required in conjunction with my treatment.As a renal cancer patient, I also qualify for certain Medicaid Assistance. If any of the services for which I qualify for Medicaid assistance, such as payment of my monthly Medicare premium, prescription Extra Help, Health SafetyNet for inpatient care, and subsidies for health care transportation were not available any more, it would be impossible for me to continue treatment. I will die without dialysis. That is a certainty, and with good treatment,I may be eligible for the transplant.

If there were caps on medical coverage or caps in my secondary insurance, I could be unable to continue with dialysis or be eligible for a transplant. I worked most of my life, and so the amount of Social Security I earn from the contributions I made, surpasses the income requirements for eligibility for full Medicaid. Even with the assistance I now receive, I cannot meet monthly expenses, so I can only imagine how impossible it would be if Medicaid subsidies were not available in the future.

I request that the Senate Better Care Reconciliation Bill be amended to make sure that everyone across the country has insurance for pre-existing conditions with no caps on treatment for all of the services required to treat a life-threatening illness or acute care.

I also request that people of any age or severity/longevity of illness not becharged higher premiums or deductibles for private insurance than they were charged under the Affordable Care Act or be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition.

10

10


Fri Jul 21 2017

Orien in Colorado

I have a lot of loved ones who are likely to be negatively impacted by ACA repeal. My Aunt Kimelise depends on Medicaid for her health care and has a preexisting condition. My sister and her husband both had cancer as children (preexisting conditions) and are trying to start a family–ACA repeal would mean that maternity care is no longer required to be covered. As older Americans, my mom, dad and grandfather will see their premiums rise.

Fri Jul 21 2017

Barbara in Massachusetts

In December of 2016 my daughter was rushed to the hospital unable to breathe and had to have an emergency tracheostomy placed. She spent 9 weeks in a hospital facility finally being able to be discharged for home. Upon discharge she had to have complete overnight nursing care and to this day continues to have night nursing care. She still has the tracheostomy in place, Medicaid has helped tremendously they covered not only her Hospital stay but all of her medical supplies she has needed since being discharged. If we were to lose this coverage I don't know where we would be she would not have survived and would not have continued to flourish as she is now. Please vote no on Trumpcare!

20170119_205630

20170119_205630


Fri Jul 21 2017

Naomi in Massachusetts

My youngest daughter, now forty three, was a ‘blue’ baby, i.e. she was born anoxic. Either she had a stroke in utero or it happened while I was giving birth. Fortunately she was able to be immediately revived, but had some developmental issues subsequently.

Yosano, as her father uniquely named her, was born just in the nick of time to benefit from Chapter 766, Massachusetts’s implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (the IDEA). For the very first time in history the possibility of some educational justice for kids with disabilities was in reach.
From age three and a half till she was twenty two, she was armed annually with her Individual Education Plans (IEPs). Through this she was able to access both physical therapy, which helped her greatly with tremors, ataxia, and generalized weakness, and speech therapy, which helped her, again greatly, with her receptive and expressive aphasia.

At first she was mainstreamed in a regular classroom, and learning that was tailored to her needs was outsourced, meaning she could be part of all of her peer group. Sadly that ended when she was seven when we were forced to accept the school’s moving her to a segregated “special needs” classroom. Throughout all of her school years, if and when learning was being offered (and it wasn’t always), Sano was an eager and delightful student.
Her labels were cerebral palsy, which is a one size fits all diagnoses for brain damage, and mild to moderate developmental disability. Her strengths were her willing spirit and grit: She was going to learn no matter what!
She left school at age 22. Two years prior to that, at yet another IEP meeting, she heard the vocational high school’s job developer/coach pontificate that she would never be able to work in the community. Since she’d already had two years in a school sponsored ‘workshop’ setting, she decided that yes, she would. So that very same week she went out and found herself a job and proceeded to work there from ten to twenty hours each week for the next four years. (By the school way, the school claimed this as a “slot” and many students subsequently worked there.)

When Sano was 26 my own disabilities caught up with me and I was no longer able to provide a home for her. She moved into a group home which served mostly older folks who had finally been “discharged” from the horrid “Fernald School”. (read The State Boys Rebellion by Michael D'Antonio, for an interesting account of this place.) She didn’t like it, she wanted her own place. So she self-advocated for four years to be allowed to get a Section 8 and her own apartment. “No, no, no and NO”, were all she ever heard until we located the right resource, Deputy Commissioner for Developmental Services, Jeff Keilson. Jeff said, “YES, WHY NOT?” She got her Section 8 within months, and her ISP (annually mandated service plan) was amended with a Medicaid Waiver to ensure that she would get adequate supports to make having her own apartment work. And it has, and she has. As a result Yosano has continued to work, to grow intellectually, and to contribute.

If the Medicaid Waiver had not been attached, her dreams and her abilities would never have been able to come to fruition. Now, the supposed “representatives” in Washington are considering taking away these types of supports. Yes, I agree that Medicaid, along with the whole “medical industrial complex” needs to be overhauled. But thrift is understanding that subsidizing autonomy and not institutions (among which most people include group homes) is the most viable method available. Thrift is built by getting the word out that continuous community supports work, and not build by denying services to people whose resources are already marginal.
If I could hold a parade every day for my daughter, I definitely would! I am so proud of her I could burst. My personal belief is that housing, health care, and education through the level of doctorate ARE human rights. Many countries with very stable economies, countries that are winning the competition in science, are in agreement. But whether or not you share my understanding that we can and must offer these to all our residents, you can understand the story I told you, and the catastrophe killing it would produce.

Finally, I have to leave you with a word about Sano’s future. I am almost seventy. Her father and her many siblings along with him pretty much abandoned her when she was fourteen and it became apparent that she would never ‘outgrow’ or ‘overcome’ her developmental delays. While she has developed strong friendships, as have I, there is no one who would provide care for her should these be taken away, as is being proposed. She would become fodder for the group home or, even worse, a nursing home. This would be a terrible waste, for her, and for everyone else. Please vote no on this pernicious plan!

Mon Jul 17 2017

Kyla in Texas

Pre-ACA, my middle daughter was "uninsurable" in the traditional market. We found this out after her health plan chose to close down (because they were not making large enough profits) and we had to apply for new insurance. My husband ended up having to take a pay cut so she could get the care she needs. Now she is on a Medicaid waiver program that is being threatened by the GOP plans for healthcare. Without Medicaid, she cannot access the care that allows her to survive and thrive. She has a progressive, incurable disease and requires many medical interventions (tube feedings, oxygen, medications, testing, specialists visits, etc). Cuts or caps to Medicaid is absolutely a life and death issue for her.

My youngest daughter was born in 2015 with a large hole in her heart. Medicaid is the reason she had access to the pediatrician, echocardiogram, and cardiologist, that diagnosed her. Medicaid is the reason she could be hospitalized, stabilized, medicated, and have life-saving open heart surgery at 6 months of age. Medicaid has literally saved the lives of 2 of my 3 children. She also has multiple life-threatening allergies and requires ongoing monitoring and medical care for her heart, and the CHIP program allows her to access those things.

My husband and I are still uninsured, even though my husband works hard to provide for our family. We wish that it was not this way. We want to be insured. We live in a state that did not expand Medicaid and we were left in the gap between Medicaid and subsidies being sufficient to help us pay for insurance costs. We have not been penalized by the ACA for being uninsured, because we truly cannot afford it and the ACA makes allowances for that. The GOP plans make no such allowances and if either of us were to get sick and forced to get insurance (that we truly cannot afford), we would either be further penalized with increased costs (AHCA) or be barred from access (BCRA) altogether for 6 months. This will cost people their lives.

katie_jo_healthcare

katie_jo_healthcare


Faith, 6 (Idaho) – Little Lobbyists

Meet Faith. Faith is 6 years old, lives in Idaho, loves swimming, and enjoys games and activities with her peers. Faith has Hypotonic Cerebral Palsy (due to global brain trauma prior to 5 months gestation).  This affects her mobility, cognition, attention, and her safety – she needs help to know how to interact in every environment.


Owen, age 14 (New York) – Little Lobbyists

Meet Owen. Owen is very smart, an avid reader, loves mysteries (TV and books) and science, and loves spending time in Prospect Park. Owen has Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type I. He is fully ventilator dependent, depends on a feeding tube for nutrition, uses a wheelchair for mobility and depends on nurses and his family for total care.


Deacon, age 10 (Ohio) – Little Lobbyists

Meet Deacon. He loves playing baseball, playing video games, volunteering at animal shelters, foster & rescue work with dogs, being a patient champion for children’s hospital, spending time with friends & family, being a big brother, raising money & awareness for heart disease/defects.


Frankie, age 7 (Kansas) – Little Lobbyists

Meet Frankie. Frankie was born with a genetic disorder called Neurofibromatosis (NF) but NF doesn’t define Frankie at all.  He is a happy, sweet 3rd  grader at an elementary school in Kansas.


Hannah, age 9 (Georgia) – Little Lobbyists

Meet Hannah. Hannah loves to dance in her special needs tap dance class. She loves music and horses. Hannah has Cerebral Palsy, Epilepsy, GERD, developmental delay, and vision issues. Hannah currently takes 9 medications every day, plus has rescue medications as needed. She has a G-tube, so supplies are needed frequently.


Karuna (Illinois) – Little Lobbyists

Meet Karuna. Karuna loved animals, being outside, and music. She passed away in 2014 when she was 11 years old. Karuna had cerebral palsy and systemic autoimmune disease. She relied on a ventilator, oxygen, central line, IV nutrition, GJ feeding tube, and foley. Why is access to affordable, quality healthcare important?

Sophia (IL) – Little Lobbyists

Meet Sophia. She loves YouTube, reading, music, the zoo, and Disneyworld. Sophia has Hereditary Sensory Autonomic Neuropathy type 2, non CMT. She has seizures and cannot walk or talk. She uses a device to communicate. Sophia’s medical needs are numerous. she is central line fed (to the heart) for all of her nutrition.


Abigail, 9 months (Oklahoma) – Little Lobbyists

Meet Abigail. She is nine months old and loves going to physical therapy and playing with her therapist. She also loves playing with toys. Abigail has Pierre Robin Sequence with a bilateral cleft palate. Abigail breathes through a tracheostomy tube. She has a G-tube (feeding tube) and requires increased calorie feeds, physical therapy, and oxygen at night.


Bree, age 2½ (Texas) – Little Lobbyists

Meet Bree. She loves being read to, snuggling with her mom and little sister, and playing in the baby pool. Bree has Panhypopituitarism and epilepsy. Currently, Bree requires 3 in-home therapies, two times a week, physical therapy (PT), occupational therapy (OT), and speech therapy to help her overcome oral aversion and developmental delays and to develop muscle … Continue reading “Bree, age 2½ (Texas)”


Charlie, age 5 (Virginia) – Little Lobbyists

Meet Charlie. She is five years old and loves playing outdoors, live music, things with numbers, and anything with animals. Charlie was born more than three months early and, as a result, is developmentally delayed. Currently, Charlie requires physical therapy (PT), occupational therapy (OT), and speech therapy.

Anna, age 5 (Virginia) – Little Lobbyists

Meet Anna.  She is a typical 5 year old in many ways. She loves to play with her brothers. She loves Play-Doh and to play with her dolls.


Dylan, age 5 (Virginia) – Little Lobbyists

Meet Dylan.  Dylan loves playing baseball, and is a huge fan of trucks, buses, planes, and trains. He also loves watching Battlebots on TV. Dylan has a very rare neuromuscular condition called SMARD – Spinal Muscular Atrophy with Respiratory Distress. He has a tracheostomy tube, and relies on a ventilator to breathe.

Isaac, age 8 (VA) – Little Lobbyists

Meet Isaac. He is eight years old, loves playing video games, reading, and writing. Isaac has also been lobbying with us on Capitol Hill and recently got to meet Senator Kaine. Isaac has Esophageal Atresia, bilateral vocal cord paralysis, and right-sided rib fusion.

Gil, 21 months (Virginia) – Little Lobbyists

Meet Gil. Gil is an amazing kid, and he has been able to progress so far since his birth, and truly amazes us, his therapists, and his doctors on a daily basis. He loves to sit up (with assistance) and play with his musical/light-up toys, as well as his dump truck and his doctor kit.


Fri Jul 14 2017

Ron Chambers,MD, FAAFP

Program Director, DIO, Family Medicine Residency Program

Chair, Family Medicine Department

Medical Director, Mercy Family Health Center and Mercy Human Trafficking Clinic

Physician Advisor, Human Trafficking Response

Chief, South Sacramento Hill Physicians

Working with Medicaid has been a crucial piece of the care we are able to provide to both victims and survivors of human trafficking. Enrolling these patients is one of the elements we work to accomplish during each intake (our clinic averages 3-5 new trafficking victims each week, and many, many more in continuity care). To aid in enrollment we reached out to representatives from Covered California and managed care medi-cal (CA Medicaid) discussing the needs of this unique patient population. They were incredibly receptive and sent selected case workers to our in-person human trafficking training where they additionally learned elements of victim-centered trauma-informed care. These representatives partnered with our clinic to help our patients navigate the system and get them into medicaid plans quickly and with relative ease. Our patients (and often their children) benefit from receiving needed medications, lab work, imaging, immunizations, prenatal care and preventative medicine services covered by Medicaid. Without Medicaid the vast majority of these patients would end up in the emergency room later on with more advanced pathology and increased morbidity. This would end up costing the health care system far more monetarily and lead to far fewer human trafficking victims and survivors who are able to start down a new path and successfully undergo a process of recovery.
Fri Jul 14 2017

Jodie Langs, Director of Policy, WestCoast Children's Clinic

"WestCoast Children's Clinic provides outpatient mental health services to more than 120 child sex trafficking victims annually, all of whom have coverage through Medicaid. Without Medicaid, we would be unable to provide critical outpatient mental health services to address the severe and chronic trauma experienced by exploited youth. Our staff are often the only reliable adult in a child's life, and severing the relationship with the clinician would cause additional harm."
Fri Jul 14 2017

Anonymous child welfare agency worker

We know that there is a high correlation of child trafficking and child welfare / juvenile justice placement. Youth in care receive Medicaid, every trafficking survivor in the child welfare or juvenile justice system(s) would potentially be impacted by changes to Medicaid.
Fri Jul 14 2017

Dr. Nicole Littenberg, Pacific Survivor Center

We recently worked with a trafficking survivor who was pregnant. Without Medicaid, she would not have received the high-risk obstetric care she required nor would she have received trauma counseling. Due to the medical and mental health services she received, both mother and baby are now safe and thriving.
Fri Jul 14 2017

Autumn Burris, Founding Director, Survivors for Solutions

"Medicaid is essential to accessing healthcare for survivors of Commercial Sexual Exploitation (CSE) and their children. CSE survivors most often exit systems of exploitation with a vast range of complex medical, mental health and dental needs. Attending to these basic needs is a pillar to healing that every survivor must have access to in order to rebuild their lives."

Fri Jul 14 2017

Marti MacGibbon, CADC-II, ACRPS

Survivor Leader and Advocate, Speaker, Nationally Award-winning Author, Certified Addiction Specialist

Fri Jul 14 2017
I have survived international human trafficking, domestic violence, and related adversity. Today I am a nationally known health and wellness speaker, award-winning author, and certified addiction treatment specialist. I thank Medicaid and ER staff for literally saving my life by treating my physical injuries and issues during the years following my escape. For years after being trafficked, I suffered from extreme post-traumatic stress. Through Medicaid, I was able to engage with a trauma therapist, a process that not only saved my life, but inspired me to dedicate the remainder of my years to advocating for vulnerable populations and to supporting those who provide services to those populations.

Fri Jul 14 2017

Jordan Greenbaum and Stephanie V. Blank, Center for Safe and Healthy Children Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta

Fri Jul 14 2017
“Many of our sex trafficked children are on Medicaid. They have a variety of medical and behavioral health needs that extend beyond what is covered by crime victims compensation. To help them heal from their severe, prolonged trauma they need access to healthcare. Investment now can help prevent long term costs, including HIV treatment, teen pregnancy, rehabilitation for drug addiction, psychiatric treatment, disability from injuries and untreated chronic disease, as well as costs associated with the criminal justice system.”
Fri Jul 14 2017

Debbie Marulanda, Human Trafficking Service Provider

"Medicaid is everything a victim has to survive any illness or emergency. "

“Most of the survivors present HPV, all have mental or physiological issues that need to be treated.
All of them have been raped, abused, beaten, malnourished, isolated, and so on…

“I had a 9 year old girl who was raped, and sexually abuse several times a day, everyday!!! So, having a proper medical, psychological treatment is a must for a survivor of human trafficking.”
Fri Jul 14 2017

Julia Geynisman-Tan, MD. Founder of the ERASE Trafficking Clinic, Chicago and Survivor Clinic, NYC

"Medicaid has been integral to my ability to provide the standard of care to women who have survived human trafficking. As many as 70% of the human trafficking survivors I have seen rely on Medicaid to take back control of their bodies and their health. A recent trafficking survivor I cared for was able to have a surgeon fix the broken nose she sustained from her pimp because she had Medicaid. Another young woman found out she had an STD and was able to treat it before it impacted her fertility. A third woman was able to get a pap smear for the first time in 8 years and found out that she had uncontrolled high blood pressure. As a result of Medicaid, she was able to start medications quickly and change her long-term risk of stroke, heart attack and death."

Fri Jul 14 2017

Sara in California

If McConnell succeeds in giving the gift of my health and my life to the wealthiest among us, I plan to give the gift of my death to him. With a life-limiting condition, when I run out of money for treatment and money to support me, I am going to bring my diseased body to Washington DC and arrange to die in his office. My gift to him.

Wed Jul 12 2017

Leonore in New York

I have Parkinson's for 18 years, and have Medicare Disability since 2008. I am 62 and the ACA allows me to have a preexisting condition and a team of excellent multiple doctors who treat my neurological symptoms, my GI symptoms, and my urological symptoms. Because I'm on Disability, my 24–year old disabled son who lives upstate has been able to obtain Medicaid to treat his health problems.

We'd both be in terrible trouble if we lost our coverage.

Wed Jul 12 2017

Jessica in California

My mom would die, she has a autoimmune disease that is affecting her lungs and with the ACA she won't be able to get care and that will lead to her early demise.

Wed Jul 12 2017

Sherri in California

As my mother approaches the time when she may need nursing home care, I worry that the cuts to Medicaid will force our family to try and take care of her at home. How will our family be able to afford care for her? How will we be able to take care of her ourselves?

Tue Jul 11 2017

Betsy in Texas

I am a retired Occupational Therapist who worked with children with disabilities in public schools in three states while my late husband served as an Army pediatrician and allergist. My two grandbabies are walking and talking on schedule, but both my daughter and daughter in law had complicated pregnancies, even though they were careful to follow every medical direction. 56 percent of babies born in Texas are born with Medicaid paying. Those mothers are working poor and Medicaid makes sure they do not die in childbirth and their babies do not have medical conditions due to a lack of oxygen or low thyroid or preeclampsia. If you cut Medicaid you will increase the number of children born with handicapping conditions.

Mon Jul 03 2017

Patricia in New York

I am among the millions at risk of losing healthcare. I have Medicaid. Although I am able-body and healthy, Medicaid gives me the peace of mind that I am covered. It covered me when I was hit by a car while riding a bicycle just this year. It also covered me when a crazy woman gave me multiple blows/punches in the head in a crowded bus just this year. Having health insurance is a human right that shouldn't be violated. Most Medicaid recipients such as myself pay more taxes than President Trump (a/k/a fake president).


Mon Jul 03 2017

Mary in Florida

I am a health surrogate for a 96 year old World War II vet who has no family support. A pastoral Care committee I belong to is taking care of him. He is totally dependent on Medicaid for the nursing home care he needs and the withdrawal of medicaid funding will literally put people like Marcus out on the street. Marcus is a lively conversationalist and much loved by the staff at his nursing home. He gave me permission to use his photo.

marcus

marcus


Mon Jul 03 2017

Patrice in Illinois

Loss of Medicaid coverage would have severe consequences for my Sister who has Schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is a debilitating and devastating condition that she has lived with for 44 years. This condition makes it impossible to work. People with Schizophrenia must be on medication to reduce the severity of the symptoms that never really go away. If my Sister loses her Medicaid coverage when is very likely to become unstable and homeless. Medicaid is literally a lifesaver for this dear girl.

Mon Jul 03 2017

Mac in Illinois

My youngest sister is developmentally disabled and relies on Medicaid for her care, as so many millions of Americans with disabilities do. My two other sisters, my partner, many of my friends were only able to purchase insurance for themselves because of the riles put forth in the ACA; my employer-provided insurance improved and now covers my birth control, well woman visits, and other preventative services that it once did not–all because of the ACA. To take us backwards would be devastating for millions of people. My friend Carlo, who was able to fight his leukemia without going broke thanks to the end of yearly/lifetime caps, would be fearful not just of a recurrence of cancer, but of bankruptcy coming with it.

I advocated for the passage of the ACA on Capitol Hill two weeks before it was voted on. It was the first advocacy victory I was ever personally involved in as part of my work as a nonprofit consultant, and the joy and sense of progress felt that day by myself, my compatriots, and millions of people around the country was palpable–and a vivid memory to this day. It was the first historical policy moment I had ever witnessed. Efforts to dismantle the law are not the first national shame I have experienced, but certainly some of the most cruel. Repealing the ACA will affect me the same way it will affect everyone else: people will die. They will die when they don't have to. And shame will become the defining characteristic of our country.

Mon Jul 03 2017

Tanya in Texas


Tanya in Hereford

Tanya in Hereford


Mon Jul 03 2017

Ann in Texas


Ann in Austin

Ann in Austin


Mon Jul 03 2017

Jennifer in Texas


Jennifer in Austin

Jennifer in Austin


Mon Jul 03 2017

Kathy in Texas


Kathy in Austin

Kathy in Austin


Fri Jun 30 2017

Judy in Florida

I am a single mom. I work full time. My mother has Alzheimer's and has required 24-hour skilled nursing care for the past four years, paid for mostly by Medicaid. There are not enough hours in the day or dollars in my wallet for me to be able to care for her full time and be able to work so I can pay to support my own family. Most of the people in my mom's nursing home are on Medicaid. Their care needs are greater than any loving family can provide and the cost of paying for that care is more than the vast majority of families can afford. If these changes go through it will be catastrophic for nursing homes and the elderly.

Fri Jun 30 2017

Heidilore in Arkansas

An ACA repeal would greatly affect my son and myself, it is a matter of life and death.

During my pregnancy, I had preeclampsia. My blood pressure climbed up so high that I nearly had a stroke. I had to be in the hospital on strict bed rest, being monitored constantly. I had to stay in the hospital for several weeks, scared out of my mind. One night, suddenly my son's heart rate went erratic. My bp was getting higher. I had to have an emergency c-section. Thank God for pregnancy medicaid! My son was brought into the world and immediately whisked to the Arkansas Children's Hospital, as he was born at 32 weeks and only 3 lbs.

His problems were severe. He had hydrocephalus, a condition with too much fluid on his brain. He needed to have surgery to place a shunt in his brain. After that ordeal, the shunt failed and he needed another brain surgery…a shunt revision. He spent two months in the hospital.

When he got home, he had a lot of difficulty with feeding issues and gaining weight. He also had eye and coordination issues, a hernia, hearing issues and GI problems. In the past 3 years (my son is 3), Will has had 7 surgeries (2 brain, 2 eyes, 2 hernias and 1 ear surgery). He is a warrior, thanks to his early intervention, therapies, doctors and nurses. He is now a normal 3 year old with some delays, but happy and content.

He would not have gotten to this point without medicaid.

The state of Arkansas is already cutting therapies and other medicaid related expenses. If the feds go further, we are in deep trouble.

My days are not lazy. My son is on SSI, as I spend my days doing non-stop paperwork, shuttling him to therapies and doctors, part-time preschool, and making sure he is happy and learning. It can be very stressful, and with this possibility of Medicaid being cut it makes for very stressful nights.

As for myself, I too would die without medicaid. I have diabetes, kidney and liver issues, early cataracts, peripheral neuropathy, and major depressive disorder with anxuety. I depend on medicaid to keep me alive. I take several medications.

This whole thing has made my anxiety ten times worse. At any given time, my son's CSF pressure could increase and he would require another brain surgery. He still had difficulties with his eyes.

I wish that politicians could see that we are real people, human beings, that are just trying to make things normal for ourselves and our disabled children. For us, healthcare isn't a "luxury". It isn't partisan. It's survival. They should see how we cry at night, how the anxiety of poverty is crippling.

Thank you for reading my story.

Fri Jun 30 2017

Megan in California

My 27 year old brother received medical insurance on his own for the first time as a result of the medicaid expansion and Medi-Cal program. Two weeks after receiving his insurance card, he had a seizure and suffered a serious traumatic brain injury, rendering him unable to work. His services were covered by Medi-Cal and he received excellent care and is recovering well. I'm incredibly grateful everyday for this coverage; otherwise, he would be financially crippled and physically unwell, even though he is a healthy and well educated young man. Medicaid coverage must be protected and expanded!

Fri Jun 30 2017

Rochelle in Illinois

I am a special education teacher in a suburb that borders the city of Chicago, and I live in the city of Chicago. My students and many of my neighbors depend on Medicaid not only for their healthcare, but also to provide the necessary services such as speech and social work in order to be successful in the classroom. One hundred percent of the students at my school are of low socioeconomic status, and qualify for free or reduced lunch. They also receive Medicaid. These cuts in Medicaid will devastate them in and out of the classroom. They are considered to be among the most vulnerable in our community, and I will not stand by and watch their opportunities to be successful in the classroom get taken away.

Fri Jun 30 2017

Kathryn in Illinois

My 91-year-old father is a disabled WWII vet. He has been living in a nursing home for two years since he broke his hip. Cutting Medicaid would mean that after he has spend his *entire life savings* on his medical care, there would be no way to pay for his needed medical care. Each month, his nursing home costs over 2x as much as I make in a month. Like 65% of the older adults in nursing homes, he needs to depend on Medicaid, and TrumpCare would leave him with no where to live.

Fri Jun 30 2017

Roseanna in Texas

This is the letter I emailed Senators Cornyn and Cruz.

I do not understand why you are not working to expand and improve what is in place. I simply do not trust the motives of Republicans after Texas Republicans refused to accept Medicaid expansion funds. Do you understand what this looked like to a normal citizen? Let me explain. I am a single mother. My son, luckily, is covered by Medicaid, which is a wonderful, seamless program that seeks to prevent illness with regular checkups and safety gear and education. I have been working since age 13 and decided to pursue a nursing career at age 32. I moved in with my parents, found grants to help with childcare and school expenses and was accepted into an RN program. A huge hurdle presented itself- I needed health insurance to attend. I could only work part time, my school's insurance option was too expensive (over $800 for 4 months) and so I went to the Marketplace to find ACA insurance. My income was around $15000. When I plugged the numbers in I thought there was a mistake. How could my premiums be over $300 for the cheap plan? I called a broker. "Yes, you don't make enough for the subsidy" "Excuse me, I don't make ENOUGH?" "Right, if you make $15,600 you would pay under $50 for health insurance through the marketplace. Because you made $600 less you pay full price."

Do you understand how INSANE this is? And for what? To really stick it to Democrats? You're playing with people's LIVES.

And now I'm a Registered Nurse, as of a week ago (Yay!!) My old waitressing job did me a favor and let me clean their office in exchange for health insurance. They really didn't have to do that. I shouldn't have had to ask for a favor. I start my new job as a nurse in a busy Emergency Room next week. How many preventable illnesses will I encounter? How many strep throats, staph infections, migraines will clog the waiting room because they can't afford to go to a regular doctor? Luckily my son and I will receive great insurance through the behemoth hospital organization I am employed by but we are lucky. Not more moral, or harder working. We are lucky.

Not to mention Planned Parenthood… I never experienced an unwanted pregnancy because I received the education and tools to prevent one through PP. Also- I have multiple friends who had cervical cancer caught early through routine, affordable Pap smears at PP.

Please please consider reversing your vote. We must care for our brothers and sisters. God asks us to. When we treat everyone like they deserve health and happiness they start acting like it.

Fri Jun 30 2017

Christy in Texas

Our daughter Ruby has survived with Medicaid. If it becomes nonexistent she would not be here. She has a genetic disorder, epilepsy, autism, non-verbal, incontinent, severe cognitive delay, muscular scoliosis and surviving with G-tube nutritional support. Basically, completely dependent on others for daily care and medical support. With Medicaid she has received the medical care and treatment she needs to live and thrive. WIth the support of waivers she has thrived intellectually and socially making her life more fulfilling. Please don't deprive our society our loved ones of a entity that has supported their mortality. Families will be affected in way's that wouldn't be in humane as a country. Let's not go backwards but forward.

Fri Jun 30 2017

Hope in Texas


ACA Story from Hope in Austin part 1

ACA Story from Hope in Austin part 1


ACA Story from Hope in Austin Part 2

ACA Story from Hope in Austin Part 2


Fri Jun 30 2017

Richard in Texas


ACA Story from Richard in Austin

ACA Story from Richard in Austin


Fri Jun 30 2017

Betsy in Texas


ACA Story from Betsy in Austin

ACA Story from Betsy in Austin


Thu Jun 29 2017

Roy in Texas

I used to be a pediatric physical therapist at a hospital here in Houston. Fell in love with one of my patients. She was abandoned and had a very uncommon and serious form of diabetes. She touched my heart… I ended up adopting and taking her home. The state of Texas DHHS told me to keep her Medicaid for all the obvious reasons. She had a feeding tube, required all of her diabetic supplies, needed therapy, injections, insulins, needles, the list goes on… Flash forward to last month. Mind you, this is 8 years later and we have lost the feeding tube. She now eats by mouth. She's a healthy girl and you'd never know she had a dangerous illness just by looking at her. I get a letter from DHHS saying her Medicaid has been voided starting Aug 1. I was forced to choose from 3 health plans, 2 of which I would lose all her doctors from birth. I took the obvious option.

That starts in Aug and I pray to god that everything is covered. Her diabetic supplies alone are upwards of $2500 monthly. I'm a middle class guy… I couldn't imagine being in poverty. Plus I'm a single dad. Tough times… Anyhow. Not looking for sympathy. Just thought you should hear the story.

roy-TX

roy-TX


Thu Jun 29 2017

Jacqueline in Wisconsin

Without Medicaid Coverage, both of my daughters who where born premies, wouldn't have gotten the treatment they needed at birth to be healthy little girls they are today!

DSCI4967

DSCI4967


Thu Jun 29 2017

Michael in West Virginia

Many people do NOT KNOW, that if you become DISABLED, and your Social Security Income combined with your Spouse is MORE than what permits assistance via #Medicaid, the first 2 years, your have to obtain your OWN Health Insurance!

I was in the First wave of People, with Back Failure Syndrome amongst a full sheet of Diagnoses, Nobody would give me a Policy! They might offer me one, Blue Cross for example offered me for 2,000 a month with a 2,000 Deductibe and NO Pharmacy or Dental Coverage a 80/20 policy. Yeah they offered me one, but they knew I couldn't and wouldn't take it, I'd have STARVED!

Under the ACA, When I checked a box that indicated my Native American Heritage, I was Floored, thinking I was getting a 80/20 Blue Cross Policy, instead it paid 100%!!! Many people in Appalachia are of Native American Decent. I have a Same Sex Spouse, at that time, the State of West Virginia did not offer Domestic Partner Benefits nor did it recognize Same Sex Marriage.

I and my partner of over 25 years are facing Financial RUIN! Without the #ACA, I would have not only been out of pocket but frankly I could never have paid all the co pays and Deductibles going to Collections and ruining my Credit Score.

As an American, I am not Angry, I am just FLAT out DISGUSTED! That People in our Senate and House who all have a heck of a lot of FINANCIAL Assets who many never ran a SWEEPER to clean a carpet, can just toss people out in the STREET! Let them work in the ER's when people sit for 12 -16 hours get Prescriptions that they can't even get Filled because they don't have the MONEY!

This is a HUMAN HOLOCAUST!

Wed Jun 28 2017

Mari in California

My son, a self employed, husband, father, employer of own father got diagnosed with cancer. If not for Medicaid expansion he would not have been able to get the treatment that helped put it into remission. But now he is a 38 year old making 75,000 a year, still supporting his household, 4 children and a wife, but now with a pre existing condition when he goes out to find insurance.

20170303_191058_1488753376449

20170303_191058_1488753376449


Wed Jun 28 2017

Suzi in Idaho

My Son was diagnosed with Autism and now is on Medicaid Services. He is very smart and has a lot to offer this world. However, he needs OT Services, Counseling and Behavior Therapy to help him learn how to socialize. With out these services it will be hard for him to reach his full potential.

Wed Jun 28 2017

Alex in Massachusetts

I'm a transgender person, and left my job a year ago due to anti-trans mistreatment. Because of universal health care, I was able to go freelance and support myself and my partner, rather than having to find another job just so we would have health insurance. He is also transgender, and is a long-term survivor of AIDS. He depends on Medicaid for the medications that keep him alive, which cost upwards of $30,000 a year. I'm terrified about what will happen to both of us — as well as other trans people and HIV-positive people — if Republicans are successful in destroying the health care protections we currently have.

Wed Jun 28 2017

Debra in Florida

My husband and I have remained in the same town in Florida for many years because his parents are aging in place, and as the youngest sibling, his older siblings were able to leave the state to find better jobs, leaving my husband as the only one to take care of his parents. This has limited our job opportunities, and occasionally, especially during the recession, made our life very difficult. Despite the sacrifices, until now, I have supported my husband in his wish to stay near his parents. However, if this bill passes, I will be having a conversation with my husband about: a) how his parents will need to purchase long-term care insurance, or b) if they do not (probably because they cannot afford it), then we will not be giving up our jobs and taking care of them in their old age. This may sound selfish, but I plan to tell my husband that the caregiving role will need to pass to his brother, a man who voted for Trump and who places memes on his Facebook page that say, "now you know what "we" had to deal with for eight years under Obama!" The way I see it is–I didn't vote for these policies and I am actively fighting against them, but if I (and fellow progressives) fail to rein Trumpism in, then many Americans are going to suffer as a result. And ultimately, Trump supporters will need to feel the pain the most in order to vote more intelligently in the next election.

Wed Jun 28 2017

Bruce in New York

My 41 year old daughter, Elizabeth is both developmentally disabled and suffers from C.M.L., a chronic form of leukemia. Because of her disability, she cannot care for herself and therefore she lives in a group home on Staten Island, NY. She is totally dependent on Medicaid for her group home residence as well as all her other services and day programs. Taking 750 billion dollars out of Medicaid could be disastrous for her. And solutions such as waiting 7 years to cut Medicaid would only mean that she would be a 48 year old woman with no place to live and no one to care for her.

As for her leukemia, she is able to keep it in remission by taking gleevec, a pill she takes everyday. The cost for this medication is roughly $100,000 a year. So Medicaid is even more crucial to her because it is keeping her alive. And any attempt to place a lifetime cap on coverage (something that could conceivably happen with block grants to states) would be devastating as this cost of treatment adds up very quickly.

Wed Jun 28 2017

Rosemary in Pennsylvania

I am a diabetic 69 year old woman. in a wheelchair living in a nursing home (personal care home). I taught school for 32 years, in a non-union institution. My pension is nearly exhausted. My assets were seized by the home as part of my admission. I am incapable of going back to teaching, even if I could find a job to supplement my income. I never had children (actually, I've had hundreds!) or a husband to take care of me (an "old maid schoolteacher"!). And I am certain I am not unique. I paid my dues and my taxes. Where is my government going to be after I gave it so much of my life?

Wed Jun 28 2017

Beth in Pennsylvania

My mother has Alzheimer's. She worked her whole life and even received a small inheritance but her money will run out in the next year or two. With the expense of memory care, without Medicaid me or one of my sisters will have to quit our jobs to take care of her full time. None of us have the skills to do so but we will have no other choice.

As a hereditary disease I can only expect the same future for myself. I never had children so there will be no one to take care of me.

Wed Jun 28 2017

Rick in Michigan

My wife and family have been in buisness for 20 years, and we have paid premiums of 900 per month. My wife then came down with MS. Our insurance issues turned into a nightmare. We had one small medical issue and our share of the cost was 10000 dollars, with a yearly income of 20000 thousand. We ate a lot of Mack and cheese. When Obama was elected we had new hope that our country would finally join the rest of the world and provide it's people with what ever type of medical care. I don't mind paying for it if I can do it without going broke. After waiting for the two years that it took to implement , we finally had a program we could afford. The weight off our shoulders was undescribable.. We could sleep again, our life seemed great again even though we had medical issues it still felt great. For the last 6 years, the Republicans have done everything in their power to make the program not work, and now they blame the other party. Now it seems they want to take us back into the dark ages and go back to what didn't work before, all in the name of a tax break for people who have good healthcare and don't need more money to live a great life. I wish some of our senators could go thru what we have, to help them understand. I wonder if they would take the money for their child's heart surgery and give it to a rich person instead, I think not. Let the so called American people vote on healthcare like a true democracy. Then if we want it, it will be their job to figure out how to provide it. They would have to work for a Change! My family finally climbed out of the hole we were in, if you throw us back into the hole and cover us with dirt, America will definitely not be great again, it will be worse again.

Wed Jun 28 2017

Becky in Pennsylvania

Currently I have Medical Assistance for Workers with Disabilities. It’s a state health insurance plan for people who have chronic illness and disabilities. This is a form of medical assistance. Medical assistance in the state of PA is considered Medicaid. My insurance did not change when I switched off traditional Medicaid to MAWD. I currently work full time with asthma, fibromyalgia and bipolar 2. All 3 are considered disabilities. My plan is renewed every year based on my income. I am currently enrolled for 1 year. After 1 year my income is reviewed and if I still make 250% of the Federal Poverty Level, my insurance will be renewed. I pay 5% of my income which is currently $54 a month for this plan.

I currently work full time with asthma, fibromyalgia and bipolar 2 as well as alcoholism. I take a variety of medications to treat all of these chronic conditions and in the past have take advantage of the outpatient treatment and dedicated recovery specialist counseling for alcoholism.

When I first admitted I was an alcoholic I started attending AA meetings. I was hesitant to stay at first because what seemed like such a simple solution did not seem plausible for me. When I was court ordered to have a drug and alcohol assessment I was assigned outpatient treatment along with counseling services through a recovery specialist. I went to see my recovery specialist every week, and really credit her with helping me see all the resources that were at my disposal (to combat my alcoholism). She was instrumental in keeping me engaged in AA and on the path to recovery. Before the ACA passed I would not have been eligible for Medicaid and I would have paid out of pocket for my employer’s insurance. Their insurance was costly, as well as the copays that were imposed for my much needed maintenance medications. Without my Ventolin inhaler for asthma I would be in the ER every day with asthma attacks. My employers insurance would charge me $45 per month for that medication. MAWD and Medicaid charge me $3 a month for the same inhaler. The same goes for pain medication and prescriptions for inflammation and my mood disorder. The amount of money I save on prescription costs and copays helps me pay for my rent. If I couldn’t afford my mood stabilizers I wouldn’t be working, nor would I be in recovery. When things seemed hopeless, self medication was the only way I saw out. Without access to my recovery specialist and the freedom to see her weekly without a co-pay, I believe I wouldn’t be alive. My addiction had taken me far from the person I wanted to be and I believe Medicaid expansion saved my life.

I don’t even want to think about what my life would be like without the insurance coverage I have right now. All of my conditions are considered life threatening to me. I need to be able to breathe, be free of pain and depression (and actively contribute to society). I need to be able to communicate with people in my workplace and not be bogged down by rapid mood cycling. I need to be free from the grip of addiction and live a happy and useful life. If I didn’t have this coverage I’d likely be dead or weighed down with an insane amount of hospital and medical bills, with no hope of ever digging myself out of that debt.

If I were to pay more for these services I would fear homelessness. The amount of money I make keeps me living paycheck to paycheck, but I’m not in debt and I have what I need. If I was charged per copay or the inflated or full prescription cost, I would likely be reduced to choosing between eating, or getting my medications. This is much like some of our seniors do now. How is that a good way to live? Why, in the supposed, most progressive country in the world, would we allow people to live that way? Cutting Medicaid and repealing the ACA would be disastrous on my life. If I can’t care for myself (in the absence of my maintenance medications) I would likely fall into depression and my chances of relapse would double. If we can’t have universal healthcare, Medicaid is the closest way we can help the most people, be the most productive person they can be while battling chronic health conditions.

Wed Jun 28 2017

Mary in Texas

My dear mother-in-law has advanced Alzheimer's disease and relies on medicaid for her care. She is in a loving and supportive group home in Arlington, Texas. Please do not take this needed benefit from her.

Wed Jun 28 2017

Adele in Texas


IMG_3109

IMG_3109

Wed Jun 28 2017
This picture shows Liam , our child with down syndrome, volunteering at our Community Summer Theater in Zilker Park last summer. This one was his favorite- “Shrek The Musical”. In the relentless Texas heat, he passed out fans to appreciative theater-goers, offering some relief and a smile. This is what it looks like to have a person with a disability participate fully in his community. The 2nd photo shows how Liam would have lived just a few decades ago- in an institution, where there were no expectations for much of a life. I need your help right now:

22 Million Americans will be losing insurance under the proposed ACA Repeal bill. Medicaid, the program that provides for people with disabilities, the poor and elderly, will be gutted by $770 BILLION to devastating effect. This money will fund tax breaks for the wealthy 2% at $231 BILLION. And $100+ BILLION to the pharmaceutical and insurance industries.

Texas has been at war with people with disabilities for decades now. We have a wait list with 50,000 people on it which is 14 years long. Thats right- no services of any kind for your child for 14 years. No behavioral help, no respite care, no aba therapy, no attendant care, no speech therapy, no physical therapy, no occupational therapy- NOTHING. Nothing to help families. We are in the middle class and highly educated and still nearly imploded from the stress of raising our child with NOTHING from the state of texas. And now- you are asking me to trust the state of Texas to the care for my adult? I would have to move out of state before thats gonna happen- which is i guess what they want me to do. I trust the Feds over this state any day.

Plain and simple- Medicaid will provide everything for Liam as an adult, so he can live in his community, from housing and oversight in a small group setting with a few friends, to job training, transportation and job oversight so he can contribute his gifts and participate in his community. In other words, a life. A life in an institution is not a life. This would be devastating for Liam and for us, his family. We are already terrified of having to die- because that means leaving him behind to an unknown and harsh future. I used to believe we were a nation that took care of our weakest, but I’m not so sure of this anymore. Its no longer a country where we all rise together- but now a country of every man for himself.

Wed Jun 28 2017

Jesse in Pennsylvania


My daughter gets Medicaid. Look her in the eye, @SenToomey #ShowUsTheBill #SaveMedicaidSaveLives #ProtectOurCare @pahealthaccess https://t.co/XaR98ukAe0

My daughter gets Medicaid. Look her in the eye, @SenToomey #ShowUsTheBill #SaveMedicaidSaveLives #ProtectOurCare @pahealthaccess https://t.co/XaR98ukAe0


Wed Jun 28 2017

Spencer in Colorado

Opinion | If We Lose Our Health Care …

We asked Times readers how the Republican bill would affect them. Here are a few of their stories.


Wed Jun 28 2017
I am a 63-year-old dentist with Type 1 diabetes. I work in a community health center providing care to patients with Medicaid. My position was added when the A.C.A. expanded Medicaid. Without it, I stand to lose my job and my health insurance. My out-of-pocket costs for managing my diabetes are over $2,500 a month. Losing my job and my insurance would likely cause me to lose my home. Being unable to afford the cost of managing my diabetes could well cost me my feet, kidneys and eyesight.
— Spencer Owades, Loveland, Colo.

Wed Jun 28 2017

Kersti in California

Opinion | If We Lose Our Health Care …

We asked Times readers how the Republican bill would affect them. Here are a few of their stories.


Wed Jun 28 2017
I am the primary caretaker for two elderly parents who are both on Medicare. I am single. I have been a self-employed photographer for the last 23 years and always had private health insurance. It was affordable until I shattered my spine in an accident in 2010 and needed major reconstructive surgery. I managed to pay ever-increasing insurance premiums until now. This year, when my premiums shot up to $1,600 a month, I had to go on Medicaid, which Republicans are threatening to cut.

In the past seven years, I have struggled to hang on to my business, gone through suicidal depression, and still have pain and permanent nerve damage. I see a pain specialist once a month and a psychiatrist every three months. Since I’ve been on Medicaid, everything has been free, though not nearly at the level of care I have been accustomed to. Instead of a regular doctor, I must go to a low-income clinic. I am 61. I have four more years to wait for Medicare. I am in limbo, and very stressed.
— Kersti Malvre, Danville, Calif.

Wed Jun 28 2017

Michelle in Wisconsin

Opinion | If We Lose Our Health Care …

We asked Times readers how the Republican bill would affect them. Here are a few of their stories.


Wed Jun 28 2017
Without the A.C.A., which expanded Medicaid, I would never have signed up for insurance, and I would have been doomed financially.
In 2016, I got on BadgerCare, Wisconsin’s version of Medicaid. Last September, I went to urgent care with pain in my abdomen. I underwent surgery that removed a softball-size wad of inflammation from my intestines, including my appendix, and was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. They also performed a bowel resection.

Without coverage, I would have faced $50,000-plus in bills for emergency surgery and medications that cost roughly $650 per month.
In the spring, I switched to an Obamacare policy. If I now lose that, my bills would potentially skyrocket. I work as a waitress in northern Wisconsin and frankly cannot afford much health care.
Michelle Doolittle, Eagle River, Wis.

Tue Jun 27 2017

Judith in Wisconsin

Loss of Medicaid funding for the disabled students I work with in the school setting.

Tue Jun 27 2017

Mona in Texas

I had a good friend with a congenital back and hip malformations, arthritis onset at an early age. She did remarkably well as a young woman, worked full time, drove a car, had bought her own home and could take care of herself, albeit w limited mobility and off and on assistance with a wheel chair. In her early 40s, she began to need more assistance in home activities, help with bathing, getting in and out of bed. Thankfully, my friend received home help care through Social Security disability and Medicaid. She continued to be able to live in her own home over the next 3-4 years, and at far less expense to the Medicaid system than if she had moved into a nursing home, which she actively opposed. Medicaid was critical to the well being of my friend and so many others in a range of ages, income circumstances, and conditions. The Affordable Care Act enabled my son to buy health insurance for the first time using the subsidy as his income and lack of insurance through work had made it prohibitive for direct purchase. I strongly urge you inform yourself and please begin to strongly consider long overdue Medicare for all in this country and certainly do not put in the unbelievably careless, reckless, and injury and mortality producing bill under consideration now.

Tue Jun 27 2017

Araceli in Texas

Me and my daughter will lose our medical help I was hit by a drunk driver and it flipped my SUV 8 times down a ditch and I was left many injuries and I could no longer work as a teacher. I had been working for thirteen years. I suffered many broken bones and had many surgeries after that and still struggling to get around and to get by. I also have PTSD. My daughter had Kawasaki' disease and Scarlett fever when she was three and was hospitalized and doctors couldn't figure out what was wrong with my daughter until she was diagnosed with the above illness and she now suffers with arthritis and lupus and gets help with Medicaid for physical therapy and gets sick often and is always in pain we need the help.

Tue Jun 27 2017

Miranda in Nevada

I suffer from chronic daily migraines and Major Depressive Disorder. Without medication, which I cannot afford, I will have zero quality of life and quite honestly, zero reason to go on.

Tue Jun 27 2017

Kathy in Texas

If the proposed Senate healthcare bill is enacted, my 4-year-old niece Olivia and her family will suffer greatly. She has Spinal Muscular Atrophy, a degenerative neuro-muscular disease for which there is no cure. Its effects include losing the ability to walk, crawl, move the arms, swallow, and breathe. Olivia has Medicaid as her secondary insurance after her parents’ insurance is maxed out. Her parents both have good jobs and work very hard. Under Medicaid, Olivia has thrived with Physical Therapy, wheelchairs, walkers, cough assist machines, leg braces, and many other types of equipment and therapies. There is a very expensive drug that she is on, and it is brand new to the market. Medicaid pays for it, and it slows the progression of the disease, and in many cases, helps the patient grow stronger. Olivia has benefitted greatly from it. Because of it, she is much, much stronger, can hold herself upright, and is sometimes walking in a walker. Her future is very bright. If you ask her what she wants to do when she grows up, she’ll tell you she is going to be an engineer. With Medicaid enabling her to have this drug and all of this great care, there’s no doubt she will achieve all of her goals in life. If Medicaid is cut, she will lose her miracle drug, and her disease will regress to the point where she will need to be institutionalized. The irony is that it will be far more expensive than the care she will get from Medicaid. If this bill is enacted, it will not make her sleep any easier at night knowing that America’s wealthiest citizens gained a huge tax cut on the back of her loss.

fullsizeoutput_57c

fullsizeoutput_57c


Tue Jun 27 2017

Steve in Texas

I help people obtain their disability benefits through the Social Security Administrations. If they are entitled to Disability Insurance they are eligible for Medicare, but have to wait 24 months before they can enroll. Until the ACA came along there was no alternative. Disabled individuals had to wait 24 months. Now folks can enroll in the ACA while they are waiting for the Medicare to kick in. The AHCA and the BCRA would encourage the creation of high risk pools and other alternatives to get these folks out of the individual markets. The BCRA funds this alternative at only $119 billion for 10 years. Not to mention that folks premiums would increase dramatically.

Folks not eligible for Medicare may get Medicaid.

The Senate wants to reduce funding for this important insurance program. That is correct, Medicaid is insurance, not an entitlement.

These are disabled folks who are in desperate need of healthcare. The Senate's bill would harm my clients by limiting access to the care they desperately need.

Mon Jun 26 2017

Shelly in Michigan

About a month ago, my mom was diagnosed with treatable stage 4 colon cancer at age 52. My mom only previously made about $25,000 a year, and once she was diagnosed, she couldn't work anymore. As she worked as a private caregiver, she didn't have any health insurance, and she relied on Medicaid to pay for her chemo treatments and hospital stays. If this funding is cut, she will not be able to continue her chemo treatments that she desperately needs to stay alive.

Mon Jun 26 2017

Roni in California

My 80 year old mother has a heart condition and also bad knees. She needs her Medicaid for surgeries for both. Without it she will die of her heart condition

Mon Jun 26 2017

Tessa in California

As a health care provider who works with individuals who have a variety of mental health issues, I am deeply concerned about the detrimental consequences of the potential loss of basic mental and behavioral health services covered by Medicaid.

Fri Jun 23 2017

Phyllis in Tennessee

We will all get old someday, God willing. Investing in health coverage for the elderly isn’t just the right thing for our parents, it’s the right thing for our future selves.

My mom, Phyllis, was one of 14 children in Chicago, Illinois. Her parents separated, and her dad took half the kids while she and her mom moved with the other half of the kids to Tennessee. She had lead poisoning from when she was younger and that has really affected her health over the years. She has lived in poverty for her entire life but she has always done the best she could. She has been hospitalized and in nursing homes various times. Her health has gotten worse, and I knew she couldn't go home and live on her own. I love my mom and I want what's best for her. At the same time, it has been a lot on me trying to look out for her every need. There's no doubt in my mind that if she weren't in the nursing home, she would die on her own. With CHOICES, now I know she's taken care of at the nursing home.

The process to get on TennCare was so confusing. I've had to wait a long time to reach actual people to talk to. I can see how someone who didn't have an advocate would fall through the cracks. I am incredulous that people could possibly assume that people on Medicaid are abusing the system when it is already so difficult to manage. If our representatives had ever been on the same health plans as our loved ones, I would wager that they would have a completely different perspective.

I’m very concerned with the future of our country’s health care. Cuts to Medicaid funding are going to directly hurt people like my mom. It is inexcusable to do this to us.

Mon Jun 26 2017

Jennifer in New York

I am very grateful for Medicaid because my mother lives in a nursing home. A stroke paralyzed her left side and she requires the assistance of two aides to transfer from her wheelchair to the toilet or bed. If it were not for Medicaid, I have no idea how we would come up with the roughly $10,000 monthly needed to pay the nursing home, and I do not see how we could care for my mother at home. Our house is not wheelchair accessible, my husband and I both work to support ourselves and our children, and we could not afford to pay for even one person, much less two, to work round the clock to assist my mother.

I also have friends who, through no fault of their own, do not have enough money to pay for insurance and rely on Medicaid for their healthcare. One is seriously depressed and, although she volunteers several hours a week for a nonprofit organization, is not capable of holding a full-time job. Another is a brilliant scholar who is unable to get a job in her area of specialty and therefore cobbles together a modest living by pet-sitting and tutoring.

I realize Medicaid is an enormous expense, which is why the incentives built into the ACA to pay for wellness, rather than procedures, and to reduce the use of emergency rooms, make sense. The ACA proposed to slowly rebuild the healthcare ecosystem to save money. The AHCA proposes to slash and burn, taking money from the most vulnerable in the form of Medicaid cuts, and redistributing it to the most secure, in the form of tax cuts. This anti-Robin Hood plan is deeply undemocratic.

Mon Jun 26 2017

Amy in Nevada

Because of the Medicaid expansion my daughter Bella just has scoliosis surgery. Her spine was twisting at a 70+ degree curve and impacting every aspect of her life. Without the surgery she would have faced a life in pain, and most likely a wheelchair. I'm very concerned about her recovery from surgery and if it's at risk of being limited by the draconian limits being introduced by the senate and house versions of trumpcare. Bella didn't ask to get scoliosis ..she was a normal, healthy and active child who's growth spurts in relation to her early periods caused her spine to twist. This was not something that was passed to her genetically, this wasn't choices she made. This just was something that happened, and thanks to Medicaid expansion provided in the ACA we were able to address. Please don't take that option away.

amy-nv

amy-nv


Mon Jun 26 2017

Chantal in Arizona

Repealing the ACA would devastate Americans with pre-existing conditions and those who rely on Medicaid. In Arizona 709,000 could lose coverage without the ACA, and probably more with the steep Medicaid cuts. Medicaid allowed me to be healthy enough to graduate college. I have a pre-existing autoimmune disease called uveitis that could blind me without treatment. I worry that I could be denied coverage in the future. My eyes cannot afford to be uninsured. I'm only 29 years old.


Vik in Texas



Mon Jun 26 2017

Shirley in Texas

I would lose my healthcare and my Dad could lose his community based assistance hours.

Shirley in Texas



Mon Jun 26 2017

BJ in Texas

I'm a movement therapist – I work with children with disabilities and the elderly helping them deal with the daily challenges of their conditions. Most of the children receive Medicaid for disabilities they were born with. To have these services curtailed through financial cuts could be devastating to them and their development.

Lou has Downs syndrome, has rheumatism, ear problems, eye problems. He gets speech therapy, movement therapy and frequent check-ups for joint and metabolic conditions. He has three siblings that also need care. One has physical disabilities and needs movement therapy to have use of arms and the seven fingers she has. They are beautiful, happy children with a loving family. Should these children be denied services because they have more needs than others?

Even if things are phased out gradually, we have no guarantee from our elected officials that there will be equivalent/stronger programs through state services. It seems the GOP only think the rich should be served. We only get lip service and falsifications.

Children are our future – please protect our future, our people rather than big pharma and insurance companies that have no heart.

Children have hearts and love. Elderly have given already to the world and deserve care and respect as they pass on their legacies.

Please protect our care, our people, our democracy, our future.

Mon Jun 26 2017

LaGina in Texas

I'm a single mom of two with medicaid. I don't know what i would if i didn't have my kids on medicaid. Medicaid has help my family out so much i would i have to have like 3 jobs to just paid for one visit to the doctor. Medicaid allows me to go to school to get a better job. Medicaid has help me find out that my son has ADHD, GAD,ODD,SAD, and social anxiety. If it wasn't for Medicaid i would be able to paid for therapy, testing, or specialist doctor for my son. With medicaid i got to get all those test done. Medicaid pays for my son medicine when he is in school so he can focus on his school work so he can success in life. If they cut medicaid i wouldn't be able to afford anything he need to have a great life.

11193251_1037346296294730_5917715277604826572_n

11193251_1037346296294730_5917715277604826572_n


Mon Jun 26 2017

Michelle in Texas

When I was 26, I was diagnosed with a rare auto-immune disease and told I would have two weeks to live if I didn't get a transplant. I was still in school, working a part time job, living at home, and was too old to be covered by my hard-working parents. I had a small insurance plan purchased through my college, but it didn't cover anywhere near enough of my office visits and many blood draws, let alone any visits I would need to see specialists outside my smaller hometown. My only hope was being diagnosed as "disabled" and getting on the Medicaid program. I had to quit my job, and went down to half-time in school, to qualify as being "disabled." After a few months long battle with Social Security (I know other people have had it much worse than me), I was able to qualify and received retroactive benefits that would cover much of the medical bills I had accrued. I was able to avoid getting the transplant with the use of medication, and am happy to say that I am doing well now. I am no longer considered "disabled" or on Medicaid, but without the benefit of that program, I would not be here today.

Mon Jun 26 2017

Mitzi in Texas

Our goddaughter is fighting a stage IV breast cancer. Her treatment won't be covered under this disastrous, cruel proposal.

Mon Jun 26 2017

Lektje in Texas

My mother-in-law is a small business owner who employs a couple dozen people. She has worked every single day of her adult life. She is still working to this day, and also taking care of her 30-year old disabled son, my husband's brother Nick. We all love Nick. He is the sweetest , most goodhearted guy. My mom-in-law is devoted to him. Unfortunately, due to his disability, Nick has many different health complications. He required heart surgery five years ago and needs his medications to survive. Nick depends on Medicaid for his medical care. If Nick loses Medicaid, he will die. Before that happens, my mom-in-law will be financially ruined, and her employees will lose their jobs. Please stop this bill! Thank you.

Fri Jun 23 2017

Phyllis in Tennessee

We will all get old someday, God willing. Investing in health coverage for the elderly isn’t just the right thing for our parents, it’s the right thing for our future selves.

My mom, Phyllis, was one of 14 children in Chicago, Illinois. Her parents separated, and her dad took half the kids while she and her mom moved with the other half of the kids to Tennessee. She had lead poisoning from when she was younger and that has really affected her health over the years. She has lived in poverty for her entire life but she has always done the best she could. She has been hospitalized and in nursing homes various times. Her health has gotten worse, and I knew she couldn't go home and live on her own. I love my mom and I want what's best for her. At the same time, it has been a lot on me trying to look out for her every need. There's no doubt in my mind that if she weren't in the nursing home, she would die on her own. With CHOICES, now I know she's taken care of at the nursing home.

The process to get on TennCare was so confusing. I've had to wait a long time to reach actual people to talk to. I can see how someone who didn't have an advocate would fall through the cracks. I am incredulous that people could possibly assume that people on Medicaid are abusing the system when it is already so difficult to manage. If our representatives had ever been on the same health plans as our loved ones, I would wager that they would have a completely different perspective.

I’m very concerned with the future of our country’s health care. Cuts to Medicaid funding are going to directly hurt people like my mom. It is inexcusable to do this to us.

Fri Jun 23 2017

Susan in Ohio

Two years ago, my dad suffered a serious stroke. He was the primary care taker of my mother, who suffers from dementia and debilitating lymph edema, so when he was stricken, it was an emergency for both of them. I was able to get my mom on Medicaid, thanks to the ACA expansion in Ohio, and move her to a skilled nursing home where she can get the care she needs. My dad has improved, and though he gets around in a wheel chair now, he still lives independently. However, this would not be possible without the Medicare prescription help that he receives to help pay for the expensive, life-saving drugs he takes every day. My family is incredibly lucky that there is a social safety net; their finances were ruined by paying for mental health services for my sister back in the bad old days, before the ACA, when insurers didn't have to provide coverage for mental health, and if they did, could put lifetime limits on it. I'm worried we're heading back to that system again. I don't know what my parents will do if the GOP bill is enacted. This really is a matter of life and liberty for them.

Thu Jun 22 2017

Morgaine in Texas


Photo Jun 22, 2 03 20 PM

Photo Jun 22, 2 03 20 PM


Thu Jun 22 2017

Duncan in Texas


Photo Jun 22, 2 03 03 PM

Photo Jun 22, 2 03 03 PM


“I need Medicaid” in Texas



Thu Jun 22 2017

Julia in Texas


Photo Jun 22, 2 03 42 PM

Photo Jun 22, 2 03 42 PM


Thu Jun 22 2017

Bushra in Michigan

I came to this country with my husband and three children from Iraq as refugees. Once we arrived, we had an issue with our Medicaid and needed to forgo our children vaccinations for school. Moreover, my husband needed to do surgery on his leg. We delayed the surgery and began working overtime because we decided that the best thing to do was pay for the surgery ourselves, as our insurance was inactive.

My husband began to feel pain from his leg, which was inhibiting his ability to work. We decided that we needed solve the problem by applying for Medicaid. We scheduled an appointment with Kaes from ACCESS who assisted us with a Medicaid application. We were so happy to get insurance and finally do the surgery for my husband. My children see their doctor regularly and are up-to-date on their shots and my husband is now back to work after the surgery. Having health insurance has helped us achieve financial stability and care for ourselves and our health.
Thu Jun 22 2017

Hafedh in Michigan

I came to this country as a refugee in 2010. It was difficult to adjust to the country, but with time we began to get acclimated and comfortable to life in Sterling Heights. My family and I stayed without health insurance for 4 years, until I sustained a back injury at work. I went to see my employer’s doctor who told me that I also had high blood pressure and asthma. The medication that was given to me would cost me $200 every month. This additional expense, given my current job and income, was not affordable.

I got in contact with Azza from ACCESS who helped me apply for an insurance plan. Azza assisted with the Medicaid application and I was approved after two weeks. After receiving my card, I visited a doctor for a check-up and get the medicine I needed. I am now monitoring my health, going to work, taking care of my family. I can proudly say I am living the American dream.
Thu Jun 22 2017

Anonymous in Michigan

I am a 66-year-old resident of St. Clair Shores, Michigan. I thought I lived a healthy life and went without insurance for three whole years. Anytime I would fall ill, I would never go see a doctor. I always thought of myself as someone in good health that did not need insurance. This was my cover, but the reason I was not insured was because I could not afford to see a doctor. I worked a part-time job with a staffing agency as a laborer, which was only getting us by from paycheck to paycheck.

I fell ill and had no other option then to see a doctor. The doctor explained that I have hypertension. Paying for the visit was expensive and the medication costs were even higher. I couldn’t afford to get my prescriptions filled but I knew I had to find a way. I went to ACCESS to see if they could help. Eva, a Navigator at ACCESS, explained how Medicaid works and even assisted us with the application process. Thanks to the expansion of Medicaid, we were approved and sent our member cards. I see my doctor regularly to make sure that my hypertension is under control and my medication is paid for. What Medicaid provided for me is peace of mind and stability.
Thu Jun 22 2017

Kulsum in Michigan

My name is Kulsum and I am 69 years old. I’ve been a pretty healthy person my whole life, but no one ever knows what’s in store for them. I came to America in 2014 to live with my son and his family. Once I arrived in Michigan, I became ill and had to see a doctor. The doctor informed me that I have high blood pressure, high cholesterol and an issue with my thyroid. I was not expecting to hear this kind of life changing news, and worse, I was not financially prepared for it. I had Emergency Services Only Medicaid. My son Shahid was my sole source of income, and I knew that treatment was going to be too expensive.

For the first few doctor’s visits, my son paid out-of-pocket and also paid for my medications. After a while, we found ourselves making the difficult decision that would impact our entire family. The question between paying bills or paying for the medication, which was emotionally and financially exhausting.

Shahid knew that there had to be a better and more affordable solution. With his guidance and support, my son and I went to ACCESS and spoke with Eva, who provided us with options through the Marketplace. The plans were affordable and they made it so easy to pick a plan. I now have health coverage and I’m so thankful for it. I can get my medication, see my physician, and lead an overall healthier life.
Thu Jun 22 2017

Gailie in Michigan

I came to this country two years ago because my husband and his children all live here. I have high cholesterol, high blood pressure and I am a cancer survivor. Coming to this country was exciting and terrifying. Burdened by my diagnoses, the anxiety and questions surrounding healthcare were frequently on my mind. How would I get medication? How much will it cost for a doctor visit? Is a mammogram affordable? These are some of the many questions I constantly asked myself. My husband was working a part-time job and couldn’t afford to pay for the proper medication and treatment needed. As a result, we were faced with difficult decisions and often forced to give up some necessities to afford my medications.

As the days passed, I began to feel a lump develop on my breast. At that moment, I knew that I had to find other alternatives to get the help I need. My husband and I went to ACCESS after being referred by a close friend. I met Azza who provided me with all the information needed and referred me to their clinic for a mammogram. My husband and I were shocked to see how affordable the plans were on the exchange. We compared and selected a Marketplace plan, I felt like I was given my life back.

The financial burden was relieved, and I am now monitoring my health with the help of a physician while having access to the necessary medication. If it wasn’t for the Marketplace, I do not know where I would be. The repeal of the ACA would be a devastating blow to myself and the millions of Americans who depend on it.
Thu Jun 22 2017

May in Michigan

My name is May Elhaddad and I am here to share how the ACA saved my life. Working in Sterling Heights, I was fulfilling my dream of being a salon owner while leading a healthy lifestyle. One day, a client of mine shared a story of her mother. My client’s mother was at a routine physical when the doctor discovered a lump on her breast, and she was subsequently diagnosed with breast cancer. This particular story alarmed me because of the similar symptoms I was experiencing at the time. Fearful, I found a free clinic offering mammograms and decided to make an appointment. After the doctor diagnosed me with breast cancer I was left devastated and uncertain of the future. With no medical coverage I did not know how I could afford the vast treatments and numerous doctor’s visits.

Fighting cancer became my full time occupation, which unfortunately led to the loss of my business and primary source of income. A friend of mine recommended that I speak with Eva at ACCESS to apply for medical coverage to seek further assistance. Eva helped me personalize a medical plan for me through the Marketplace, which I was able to get despite having a preexisting condition thanks to the ACA. After I was approved for coverage, I began seeing my doctors regularly and scheduled a surgery to remove the cancer. After successful surgery and recovery, I am currently in the process of opening another hair salon.

Without the ACA, I would never have been able to afford the medical coverage that kept me alive. I am afraid that if the ACA is repealed, many people will not be as fortunate as I was and suffer unnecessarily. There is no reason for someone to be put in the position to pursue medical coverage with the consequence of hefty medical bills and potential burden for other family members.
Thu Jun 22 2017

Mike in Michigan

My name is Mike Abed and I would like to share how Medicaid positively impacted my life. Three years ago, I fled Iraq as a refugee and ended up in Sterling Heights, Michigan. With limited access to regular healthcare treatment in Iraq, I hoped to attend to my medical concerns in the States. As a 66-year-old living with diabetes and high blood pressure, I knew that the proper care was critical to a healthy lifestyle moving forward. After visiting a doctor, I was diagnosed with high cholesterol and a malignant tumor was also found. Being retired and not eligible for social security benefits, the limited resources I had would not be sufficient enough to cover the out-of-pocket expenses for treatments and medications for my conditions.

I was directed to ACCESS and met with Eva for assistance to find health coverage. During our first meeting, I described to her my medical conditions and my inability to pay for my accumulating medical expenses. She immediately helped me fill out and submit an application for Medicaid. Through the support of ACCESS, my application was approved after a few weeks. This allowed me to schedule the necessary surgery to remove my tumor, and to begin taking medications for my conditions without straining my resources. The Medicaid coverage I received has given me an overall better quality of life. I am dependent on Medicaid under the ACA. I am afraid that if the ACA is repealed, I would not be able to afford the medications and doctor’s visits that keep me healthy. Fortunately, I am able to visit my doctors regularly and have been adhering to my medications. None of this would have been possible without the assistance of Medicaid.
Thu Jun 22 2017

Fadhil in Michigan

My name is Fadhil and I would like to share the story of how Medicaid kept my family together. I currently live in Sterling Heights, Michigan with my family in a modest home. As a low-income family, we did not receive health coverage from our employers and did not know if we were eligible for Medicaid. After complaining of severe pain, my wife decided to schedule an appointment to see a doctor. During the visit, the doctor informed my wife that she had to remove her ovaries. With no medical coverage, her surgery and medical expenses that would follow would be impossible for us to pay.

I began feeling desperate because the doctor said surgery was mandatory to give my wife the best chance of surviving. This is when we decided to visit ACCESS and seek assistance for medical coverage. During our first meeting, Kaes assured us that many people with similar predicaments turned to ACCESS and successfully received medical coverage. We applied for Medicaid and after a few weeks received notification that we qualified. After my wife’s successful surgery, she began taking her medications and has been steadily recovering since.

Without Medicaid, paying for treatment for my wife would have been impossible. I am afraid that if the ACA is repealed, my family and I would lose the peace of mind that comes with being able to seek medical attention when it is necessary. Medicaid has been a positive resource in my family’s life in our most difficult times. Today, my family is living a comfortable and healthy life, and none of this would have been possible without the assistance of Medicaid. Thank you for your time.
Thu Jun 22 2017

Hussein in Michigan

My name is Hussein and I am from Warren, Michigan. I would like to share the story of how Medicaid saved my life and helped my daughter access treatment and services we would otherwise not have been able to afford. Working as a truck driver, I was comfortably providing for my family. My family and I had no medical history and were leading healthy lives.

Last year, I was shot in the head and thankfully survived. My slow recovery resulted in my inability to work and the eventual loss of my job. After my medical expenses kept piling up, I was forced to sell my house to help pay for the bills. A few months later, I was shopping with my family at Wal-Mart when I suddenly collapsed and started seizing. Fortunately, a generous bystander rushed to my side and began dialing 911. I tried to get her attention to stop, knowing I could not afford the medical bills that would follow. However, she assured my family that she would help us find assistance to pay for the bills. As the ambulance arrived, she gave my wife the phone number for Eva, a Health Care Navigator at ACCESS. A few days after the incident, we set up an appointment with Eva. She assisted us with securing Medicaid as well as other benefits to help us get by. I began seeing a specialist for my head injury and could afford the medications prescribed to me.

Fast forward several months later, my daughter was diagnosed with diabetes. Without Medicaid, seeking treatment for my daughter would have been near impossible. The Medicaid coverage my family has continues to be the difference between life and death. I am afraid that if the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is repealed, my family and I would lose the peace of mind that comes with being able to seek medical attention when necessary. Medicaid has been a positive resource in my family’s life in our most difficult times. Medicaid made it possible for me to go back to work, provide for my family, and even purchase a condominium. None of this would have been possible without the assistance of Medicaid. Thank you for your time.
Thu Jun 22 2017

Zaynab in Michigan

My name is Zaynab and I would like to share my family's story about how Medicaid changed our lives. I come from a Pakistani American working class family. Before the ACA, our family did not have the means to afford health insurance, but when Medicaid expansion took place in Michigan, my family was one of the first to come to ACCESS to get enrolled to take a positive step towards our health and wellbeing as a family. ACCESS helped us through a lengthy process of applying for Medicaid coverage. We went back and forth with the state health office when finally, in 2015, me and my two siblings received Medicaid coverage. For some reason, my parents had not yet been approved, but nonetheless were glad that we were.

Just a few months later that year, our lives changed forever. My father had been complaining about stomach pain; we told him to go to the hospital, but aside from a trip to a nearby free clinic, he refused to seek further care. I now realize that he was trying to protect us from the financial burden because he didn’t have coverage. One night, he suddenly collapsed in the shower. When the paramedics arrived, he still had a weak pulse, so they took him to the hospital. He passed away in the hospital within 24 hours. We were lost and devastated, and before being able to grieve and process our loss, were given a $44,000 bill from the hospital for that one night. At this point, we did not have the means to afford this bill, figured that we would have to sell our house and car to pay it off. We returned to ACCESS the next week to tell them what had happened, and this is when they told us they would do whatever it took to get the bill taken care of so we wouldn’t have to resort to that.

ACCESS worked tirelessly with our family over the course of the week with the Medicaid office, and because of their efforts, our family finally received Medicaid approval for our father and mother. We were relieved of the $44,000 bill and were able to focus on our grieving and move forward together, emotionally and financially. Today, we live our lives a little more peacefully because our mother has health coverage and seeks preventive care to ensure that what happened to our father does not happen to her.

My brother was able to focus on his studies, graduated and now works a fulltime job. As for me, my father’s dream was always for me to pursue a career as a healthcare professional. Because we were relieved of this financial burden, I was also able to focus on my schoolwork in pursuit of dental school. I stand here today not only as a college graduate, but as someone who has been accepted to dental school, and will begin in the Fall. None of this would have been possible without the help of the Medicaid program. I hope you take my story, and ones like it, into consideration when discussing and debating the importance of Medicaid to the lives of Michiganders and other Americans across the country. Thank you for your time.

Thu Jun 22 2017

James in Tennessee

My husband is a dynamic person. He has a background in music and health and education. He has traveled all over the world doing this. He taught music students in Metro Parks for 33 years. He retired from that. Once he was retired, he had his own band. He has entertained and played music for the mayor, for the governor, for a lot of people. He has shared his talents and abilities with a lot of people.

When he retired, he started having some issues with his memory. We went to a neurologist and after some testing, they found an aneurysm near the center of his forehead. At this time, we were on Medicare and had secondary insurance. He needed surgery to take care of this, he had been traveling all over with his band.

The surgery was successful, but within 12 hours, he had a stroke, a hemorrhagic bleed, and then full-blown Parkinson’s set in on his body. He stayed in the hospital for two months, sleeping. They sent him to rehab, and that's when the expenses were sky-high. We were able to make it at first because we have Medicare, BlueCross Blue Shield. After the first 100 days, Medicare wore off, and that's when everything started to get really rugged.

Then someone told me about CHOICES. We've been here since August, and my prayer and my hope is that with CHOICES I can take him home by the end of May. It will help me get my house situated so I can have him at home. He can get physical and occupational therapy at home. That would cut the costs to have him at home.
If it wasn't for CHOICES, I would have had to figure out some other way to pay someone. CHOICES has been a lifeline for me, it took a lot of the burden off. I still have financial woes and problems, but it relieved the pressure so that I can have him where he needs to be, to get the care he needs to get. Sometimes the burdens get heavy, but I try to keep on the bright side. By the grace of God, and with a little help along the way, we're still here.

The repeal plan is so ridiculous and so cruel. I understand cuts, but why would you start with the babies and the old folks? These programs are lifelines. Without CHOICES stepping in, I don't know what I would have done to keep his health at the level he should be at. Medicare is good, but up to a point. I don't think I would have been financially able to keep him getting the care he needs without CHOICES.

Thu Jun 22 2017

Joe in Tennessee

My son, Joe, is bipolar and has learning disabilities that were a serious obstacle in school. He got married when he was about 25, and then had a son. Joe was working 3 jobs when he and his wife eventually separated. The divorce was extremely hard on his mental health. We helped raise Joe's son and he's a good kid.

Six years ago, Joe had multiple heart attacks, bypass surgery, and a stroke. He was on CHOICES at one point and was in assisted living further away from us. It’s set up now so that his caretaker comes for three hours a day, seven days a week. She's more of a friend than a health aide. He seems to be fairly happy right now with this set up.

Joe has frequently had to decide between groceries and medicine. If I was 20 years younger and healthy, I would have been able to help take care of him. It’s just not a possibility for me to do that at this point. If I get sicker, at least I know that he'll get taken care of somehow. That's my main concern at this point in my life: what's going to happen to Joe? He only has 30% of his heart function left and he is just 50 years old.

Life is the most precious thing we have, and it should be protected. One way of protecting life is having this care. Even if life isn't 100%, God put them on this earth and they should be taken care of. Congress can talk all it wants about supposed entitlements, but I don’t see why our lives are being debated as some kind of privilege. You either believe we deserve to be sick and die, or you believe that we should be given our God given right to be alive; and that means having health coverage.

Thu Jun 22 2017

Venice in Tennessee

My aunt, Venice has cerebellar ataxia, a condition in which the cerebellum becomes inflamed or damaged. It's hereditary, so several people in our family suffer from it. Despite that, she goes out in the community a lot, especially church. Thankfully, because of her symptoms, she qualifies for the CHOICES program.

Overall, CHOICES services have been a huge advantage for her. In particular, having assistance with meals is of immense importance. She also has a social worker come by and help her with medications and doctor’s appointments. It has really helped her disability. Healthcare is important because of the benefits.

Being disabled, Venice can't do a lot of things on her own. Having someone to advocate for her, it takes a lot of stress off of me as a caregiver. Changes to Medicaid would really affect people. I've been shaking my head because I have no idea what people like my aunt are going to do. I don't know what the world is coming to.
She loves talking with her CHOICES social worker. She had been suffering from depression and anxiety, but she is doing better now that she knows she has the help she needs.

I don’t know how anybody could ever take away the care that Venice needs to keep her dignity. Congress must acknowledge people like my aunt exist and they must acknowledge that cutting Medicaid will hurt them.

Thu Jun 22 2017

Emma in Tennessee

My aunt, Emma, was born in 1928 and she worked as a waitress for most of her life. Eventually, she began to work in factories. She drove her car up until she was about 85.
Approximately one year ago, she started having trouble walking. She's 88 years old now. Her physical deterioration got to a point where she was falling more often. It is so difficult to watch someone you are close to go through this degree of suffering.

We got in touch with the AAAD and they sent out a caseworker. We experienced some serious delays. I'm exhausted, but I’m so glad that we have access to these services because they will greatly improve her quality of life. Hopefully, if we can get her an electric wheelchair, she'll be able to get out in the sunshine.
It's been hard to get here, but TennCare is working for us. I think it's a good program.

I absolutely do not want Medicaid funding cuts to happen. They don't need to snatch the program up as if it were a tablecloth under dishes. They need to slowly phase in changes. That would make the transition to a better healthcare plan more palatable. It wouldn't be as bad.
My political affiliation is Republican, and I really do believe that both parties want the best. The issue is that they disagree on ways of getting to that ‘best’. It's just a mess right now. It's going to hurt when they start trying to ‘fix’ it, because those roots go deep now.

Thu Jun 22 2017

Carla in Tennessee

My mom is 73 years old, and she worked for Boeing Electronics for many years. It was factory-type work, and she had a high school education. She retired and started having strokes about 10 years ago. She could still walk and get around back then, but 7-8 months ago she had another stroke that left her unable to walk at all. She's totally wheelchair bound, blind in one eye, has blurred vision in the other eye, and she gets dizzy and can't transfer. She has fallen several times. She lives alone and was unable to care for herself, eventually had to go to a nursing home. Someone came to the nursing home to see if anyone would qualify for home-based services.

My mom was really excited about going home. CHOICES allowed her to get a ramp and some modifications at home. Someone came to help with grocery shopping, pick up medicines, help her do housework, help her bathe. She doesn't have the money. She wouldn't be able to live at home without Medicaid services.

There's no way that she would have been able to afford rehab services and be at the nursing home before without Medicaid. I can't imagine it being any harder for someone to get Medicaid than it is right now.

Thu Jun 22 2017

Jack in Texas

My best friend, now dead, was a victim of the healthcare system/Medicaid when she was alive. This was pre-ACA. She died in 2010. Misty Miller needed a life-saving liver-transplant. She had been sick for many years, but managed to work a full-time job in IT so that she could keep her insurance. Once she finally became too sick to work full time, she dropped to part-time.

When she dropped to part time, she lost her insurance, but was assured that she could apply for Medicaid when and if she needed to. Unfortunately, by the time she needed to apply for Medicaid, she had made too much money by working part-time ($9000) that year, to qualify. Because of her pre-existing conditions, even her family could not get her insured with a private company. Instead of getting the liver transplant she needed when she needed it, she was sent to a nursing home to wait a period of 45 days so that she could once again, somehow, qualify for Medicaid.

During those 45 days, she grew more and more ill, fell weaker and weaker. When she was finally released for the surgery, she was at great risk for failure. They performed the surgery anyway, but she lived for only one year afterward – in great pain and discomfort, rarely leaving the hospital.

The system failed my friend in so many ways. She worked full time to keep her insurance. But when she got too sick to work anymore, how was she supposed to find the healthcare she so desperately needed?

Even when her family and friends got together to purchase it for her, she was then denied based on pre-existing conditions (A FAILING LIVER). The fact that she had no insurance limited the places she could go for care.

How was she supposed to survive this?

She was 36 when she died.

This is the type of healthcare system you seek to restore – one that killed a beautiful, well-educated, beloved woman with much to contribute to the world.

Thu Jun 22 2017

Robert in Tennessee

I am 59 years old and live with my wife and our two children in Middle Tennessee. I have always worked, but I don’t receive health coverage through my job. In early 2016, I began to experience pain, but I put off seeing a doctor because I was uninsured. In April 2016, my symptoms got so bad that I was forced to go to the hospital for an exam. I was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. I applied for TennCare but the state never acted on the application.

Without insurance, medical debt quickly overwhelmed our family, which only added to the pressure of dealing with a potentially fatal illness. In July, a hospital application counselor helped me submit a preliminary application to TennCare that qualified me for temporary coverage pending submission of a full application.

TennCare terminated my temporary coverage in September, claiming that it had never received a full application as required. In November, I got help with following the paper trail, collecting documents from the hospital, TennCare, and the Federal Marketplace. After discovering the mistake that had been made, I received TennCare retroactive to April which eliminated $500,000 of medical debt and assured prospective coverage for my whole family.

Over the course of this whole thing, I’ve learned a lot. I learned how important having health coverage is to be able to receive preventative care, before things get really expensive and scary. I’ve learned that Medicaid not only gives people access to care, but it takes financial devastation out of the diagnosis of a disease. Right now, the administration has the opportunity to send a message. Either they value the lives of all Americans, or they value political power and wealth. Their choice will be clear in the votes they make.

Wed Jun 21 2017

Morgaine in Texas

I'm 23 years old and I have a genetic disorder called fragile x syndrome. Defunding medicade would mean that I'd lose therapy and attendant care that I need to stay independent. If I lost this help, I would literally crumble emotionally. I could lose the ability to have a job, drive one day or live on my own. I love my job and my life. Please don't take that away.

Tue Jun 20 2017

Diane in Texas

Medicaid saves lives each and every day. I am the single mother of three children with Fragile X Syndrome which causes neurological problems like autism, intellectual disabilities, and severe anxiety. Before my children got on the C.L.A.S.S. wavier system through Medicaid, I was forced to leave my oldest daughter home alone everyday after she had aged out of public school. Without the support she needed she lost the job that the school had gotten her. It became harder and harder for her to leave the house even to run errands. She became completely agoraphobic. She got to the point where she could no longer eat. I had to take a medical leave of absence to help her regain her strength. I had no idea what we were going to do. Then, a miracle happened. My children who had been on the C.L.A.S.S. waiting list in Texas had become eligible for services. With the help of Medicaid, my daughter can now leave the house and is working with the Texas Workforce Commission to find a job. She gets attendant care and therapy that she needs to stay alive and active in the community. All three of my children are now out of public school and are thriving through Medicaid. I cannot express the fear and the desperation I feel at the thought of them loosing Medicaid's invaluable help. Taking Medicaid away from them is in many ways literally taking their lives. Please, do not defund Medicaid.

diane-tx

diane-tx


Tue Jun 20 2017

Iris in Missouri

Even under the ACA, I've never been able to afford health insurance. I fell into the ever-widening coverage gap. My 6 year old daughter has never been off of Medicaid. In September of 2016, I was diagnosed with cervical cancer. I live with chronic illnesses, besides that. In order to obtain treatment, I must submit 10 different documents proving who I am and how much money I don't have – a task, in itself, too complex to manage without help. I don't have any help. After submitting all my proofs, the administration may still deny my cost-abatement payment plan. A payment plan (for a surgery that may fix my cancer) I cannot hope to pay, regardless. Who will insure me?

Iris-MO

Iris-MO


arizona-medicaid

arizona-medicaid


Mon Jun 19 2017

Sara in Pennsylvania

As it stands right now, the existence of Medicaid means that I won't need to choose between caring for my parents and providing for my own family. I feel incredibly lucky to have a stable job that pays well, particularly because my parents have significant financial troubles. When my parents need long-term care – as virtually all Americans do at some point – they will not have the savings to pay for it, nor can they afford the premiums for long-term care insurance. It will be my responsibility to care for them, just like they have cared for me. Without Medicaid, I'm not sure how I would fulfill that promise. Long-term care regularly costs thousands of dollars per month. Paying for nursing care would easily exceed what I earn in a month. I hope more people will realize that that Medicaid protects the American Dream for everyone, plain and simple. No parent wants their healthcare costs to bankrupt their grown children. No adult wants to choose between their financial stability and their parents' care. With a strong, well-funded Medicaid system, I can continue to care for my entire family – and so can you.

Mon Jun 19 2017

Kelly in Texas

This is my daughter Caroline. She's 35 years old. She was born with a rare condition called WAGR syndrome. She's legally blind, has intellectual disability, chronic kidney failure and a lot of other medical conditions. Even with all this, she's a remarkable woman. She has a job that she loves, as a prep chef in the dining hall of a nursing home. She's worked there for 10 years. She volunteers 3 days a week. She's also the Resource Coordinator for Sunday School classes at church. Her favorite thing is advocating for others with disabilities. She does this by serving on the Board of a local nonprofit called "SALSA – the San Antonio League of Self-Advocates." Caroline lives in a group home. It's just a house in a neighborhood. Six women with disabilities live there, and they have a staff person to help them with cooking, medication, transportation and so on. Group homes allow adults like my daughter to live in the community, not in an institution, especially after their parents are too old to care for them or pass away. Group homes are covered by Medicaid. The companies that run them usually operate on a shoestring, yet most do a great job. The drastic cuts to Medicaid that are being proposed would make it impossible for group homes to continue. What would happen to the 75,000 disabled people in Texas who live in group homes? Where would they go? Four of the six women at Caroline's home have no family at all. What will happen to my daughter when I am gone? There are very few institutions left for people with disabilities – thank God! – so would they be homeless? These are people who wouldn't survive homelessness for a single day. Would they be put in nursing homes? The cost of that would be astronomical. I want to know what these Senators plan to do with people like my daughter. Do they have a plan? Are they proposing any kind of alternative to Medicaid? Or do they simply want people like Caroline to die???


Mon Jun 19 2017

Denise in Texas

Dear friends of our family are parents to an adult woman, named Dawn, who is developmentally handicapped. We have witnessed first hand how the benefits Dawn currently receives through Medicaid's community-based services (a.k.a. HCS) have been essential to her and her family. Dawn lives with her parents, both of whom are now of retirement age. They have worked hard their entire lives, as well, to provide an opportunity for Dawn to engage with the community and feel a sense of purpose in spite of her severe challenges. Dawn has held a job for at least the 20+ years I've known her. It is frightening to think that cuts to Medicaid could directly impact the essential services Dawn has come to rely on her entire life. Worse, the thought that her parents may no longer be able to care for her with out this assistance breaks our heart. I hope our elected officials not only understand the impact the AHCA would have on the lives of Americans given our stores, but find the courage to protect the most vulnerable in our society by not supporting this bill.

Mon Jun 19 2017

Kim in California

My mother-in-law has advanced multiple sclerosis. She is only able to afford her $18,000 per month treatments due to Medicaid expansion under the ACA. These life saving treatments have slowed her MS and lets her maintain a modicum of independence. Without these treatments, she will be institutionalized or dead. Please save my mother-in-law.

Mon Jun 19 2017

Cathy in Texas

I work in public education serving students with disabilities. Every day I meet with families and students who depend on Medicaid services and monies to keep their severely disabled child at home and in school. An example of a disability, among many, is being born with half a brain. A student such as this has difficulty swallowing, walking, is dependent in all self care areas. If they loose Medicaid, they literally will loose their child to the ravages of their disability. I invite you to come into the schools and meet these students and the parents who have given their all to keep their children safe at home.

Mon Jun 19 2017

Julia in Texas

I've worked in healthcare since 1978 and one thing is abundantly clear: the ACA has been the best governmental action on behalf of human beings since Medicare was passed in 1965. Thirteen men in the Senate are threatening to undo it, in secret, as a partisan power grab, for purely political reasons. They sit in their clean, quiet committee rooms and play with people's lives; I stand in an acute care hospital, meeting people on one of the worst days of their lives, and have to explain to them that unless they have insurance, the hospital is going to charge them ungodly amounts, and they must pay. Phrases like "pre-existing conditions" and "high risk pool" are only words to politicians, but mean life and death to actual people. The Senators on this committee are threatening to take out the parts of the ACA that made insurance actually support people, and not just make money for the insurer. What is the point of this? What on earth could they believe besides "Obamacare [politically] bad!" Surely they have brought more thought to this. It has never affected them personally, of course, because Senators get a sweet Cadillac of a health insurance policy for life, and are exempt from the laws they pass (we won't get into the insanity of that here, just note it). I've been self-employed since 1995 and thus buy my health insurance in the individual market, and it was a horror until the ACA. My son was born prematurely and had asthma, "pre-existing conditions" still held against him at the age of 20. My daughter is fortunately healthy but is on the autism spectrum, and receives school services that will be cut when Medicaid is gutted. I have arthritis, which has been ridered out in every policy I've carried since 1995 – so I have insurance that fails to cover what I need it to cover. It was a massive relief when my husband came of age for Medicare and got the care he had needed for years for hepatitis C and hypertension, but which had always been denied to him because they were "pre-existing conditions". We have paid up to $2000/month for bare-bones insurance, because I know that self-pay patients have the worst possible deal of all: highest prices, fewest options, major risk of banktuptcy with any major illness or accident. And our options continue to dwindle in the Texas individual market because Republicans have seen to hobble the ACA as much as possible before attempting to kill it entirely. And this is what they want to send all of us back to: poor, expensive care, with none of the safeguards that government needs to provide, because private insurers are in it for profit. There are only two ways to make a profit in health insurance: boost premiums/copays/deductibles and reduce services – neither of which benefit human beings. If there are true conservative statesmen on this committee, they will see the undeniable fact that the private sector has signally failed to deliver healthcare to all. Healthcare is no place for private profit. Profit should never be a factor in life and death decisions. If we eliminate the unconscionable overhead of profit-driven health insurance companies involved in billing and paying for the delivery of healthcare services, we can easily afford to provide health insurance for everyone. $59.17 per month per $20,000 of annual income is all it would cost to expand Medicare coverage to every man, woman, and child in America. Are they wise enough to leave their dysfunctional party and personal ambitions behind, and do what's best for people? We shall see. And we shall remember when they are up for re-election.

Mon Jun 19 2017

Dan in Texas

As a father of a handicapped daughter, any loss of services would be devastating to our family. Hopefully you understand. Please do not support the AHCA and listen to your constituents

Sun Jun 18 2017

Imelda in Texas

Sun Jun 18 2017
My grandfather Jose who is 82 years old is a dual-eligible. He has both Medicare and Medicaid. My grandma who passed away two years ago was also a dual-eligible since a stroke left her disabled. Medicaid helped us greatly to give my grandma the best quality of life we could give her in her last years. Medicaid helped pay for a temporary stay in a nursing home for my grandma after her stroke and my aunt who took care of her afterwards said that it was immensely valuable to have the nursing home staff teach her how to take care of grandma once she were released at home. Now I am very afraid that the same support won't be available for my grandfather who has a heart condition. Medicaid currently helps us with part of his medical treatment like visits and drug costs. I am very concerned that the cuts to the current Medicaid program proposed in the AHCA will impact him.

Sun Jun 18 2017

Sharla in Texas

Sun Jun 18 2017
I am the mother and legal guardian of my 52 year old daughter with autism. Since the day she was born, I have been able to keep her at our home in the community and out of institutions even though she is totally dependent upon our care 24/7. Without her HCS Medicaid waiver services, I would NOT be able to continue to keep her in our home. I am extremely concerned about Medicaid services for all Intellectually/Developmentally Disabled persons. I cannot support the AHCA at this time because it would cut Medicaid funding with no guarantee that children and adults would get the services they desperately need for survival. Do NOT allow cuts to our Medicaid lifeline. Caps and block grants would destroy the program in which people with disabilities and seniors rely on for critical health car and community services.