Americans Across the Country Speak Out Against GOP Health Care Repeal
July 15, 2017
Across the country, millions of hardworking Americans rely on the Affordable Care Act for quality and affordable access to health care, yet the latest Senate Republican repeal bill would make devastating cuts to essential services, increase costs for people with pre-existing conditions, and drive up out-of-pocket costs making people pay more for less coverage.
Here is a look at some of the people that would be most affected by the devastating Republican bill:
New York Times: Frances Isbell, Tuscaloosa, Alabama–Law student with spinal muscular atrophy maintains independence with the help of Medicaid-funded caretaker
“She hopes to become a disability rights lawyer — ‘I’d love to see her on the Supreme Court someday,’ her aid Christy Robertson, said, tearing up with emotion as Ms. Isbell prepared to study for the bar exam in her apartment last week — but staying independent will be crucial to her professional future.
“‘The point of these programs is to give people options and freedom,’ said Ms. Isbell, 24, whose family lives a few hours away in Gadsden.
“The care she gets is an optional benefit under federal Medicaid law, which means each state can decide whether to offer it and how much to spend. Optional services that she and millions of other Medicaid beneficiaries receive would be particularly at risk under republican proposals to scale back Medicaid as part of legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.”
Grand Forks Herald: Grand Forks man with cerebral palsy: 'I would have nothing' without ACA insurance
“Anthony Arnold, 40, has a UND Fighting Sioux tattoo and a power wheelchair that costs more than some cars. Arnold has cerebral palsy, a condition he was born with and which has greatly limited his physical development.”
“Before the ACA opened the ability for Arnold to buy his own insurance plan about two years ago, he was on the plan of his mother, Dolly, a former paraprofessional for a local public school system. Arnold said the day he bought his plan was ‘like the happiest day of my adulthood’ and speculated about how the experience of paying for one of his recent surgeries, a dental operation that cost roughly $13,000, could have played out had he been uninsured.
“‘It would be like swimming in open sea and trying to come up for air periodically,’” he said. ‘In my case, I would barely get done paying for one thing and then something else may pop up.’”
Houston Chronicle: Jones, Houston, Texas–relies on Medicaid to cover 17-year-old son who needs regular blood transfusions
“In 2005, she and Rashad fled to Houston from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. It was here that 5-year-old Rashad underwent brain surgery to curb some of the damage the strokes had done.
“Next fall, Rashad will be a senior at Davis Senior High School. He receives special education because his short-term memory is wrecked and he has some learning difficulties. He gets help with reading and writing from a specialized computer. He used to get speech therapy paid through Medicaid.”
“Jones earns $11.45 per hour as a package handler for FedEx. She works full time and will soon be eligible for a health plan through work when the next enrollment period opens. But she doubts it will pay for all of her son's needs. She hears talk of big cuts possibly coming to Medicaid out of Congress and fears for Rashad.”
Arizona Capitol Times: Medicaid cuts are a matter of life or death for people with disabilities
“Medicaid provides me and 45,000 other Arizonans with the home and community-based services we need to remain in our homes, stay out of institutions, and contribute to our communities. These services are not available through Medicare or private insurance. Medicaid provides me with the caregivers I need to get out of bed in the morning, use the restroom, shower, dress, and eat. Medicaid provides me with my ventilator and the other respiratory equipment I need to be able to breathe, and the power wheelchair I need to get around.
“I am not exaggerating when I say that my life depends on Medicaid. I had a respiratory failure in 2009 and I would have died without Medicaid. If I no longer have access to the ventilator that Medicaid provides, I will most certainly die. If I no longer have access to caregivers to feed me and care for me, I will most certainly die.”
Post and Courier: 11-year-old from South Carolina lobbies for Medicaid on Capitol Hill
“In two days' time, Tymia had spoken with the entire South Carolina delegation about something she lives with every day: sickle-cell disease, a genetic blood disorder that causes debilitating episodes of intense pain.
“Tymia said she is concerned about what will happen to Medicaid under the Senate's Better Care Reconciliation Act, the latest health care plan put forth by Republicans.
“‘If it does pass,’ Tymia said of the proposed bill, ‘there’s no guarantee that I will see my future.’
“As one of the more than 660,000 children in South Carolina enrolled in Medicaid, Tymia depends on the federal source for care. Pitts said her daughter's disease means frequent visits to the Medical University of South Carolina Children's Hospital.
“To date, Tymia has been hospitalized 49 times, received 45 blood transfusions and had two surgeries to help save her life.
“‘Medicaid is what makes her alive today. Without Medicaid she would not be here,’ Pitts said, choking up on the phone.”
Washington Post: Christine Ferguson–Former opioid addict is now clean, thanks to Medicaid
“After 13 years of battling addiction to pills, heroin, alcohol, LSD and cocaine, Christine Ferguson says she is clean.
“That achievement has come with the help of 101 days of inpatient care and 10 months of intensive outpatient treatment. Three days a week, she still heads to the First Step Home not far from downtown Cincinnati, where she has counseling sessions and classes.
“Medicaid has paid for it all, sometimes seven or eight classes a day, during which Ferguson says she has learned why she always returned to drugs, the behaviors she must avoid, the warning signs that she is slipping into old habits.
“The Senate GOP health-care bill threatens to undermine the fragile foundation she is building. Medicaid now spends more than $900 million to treat opioid addictions and overdoses, and many people contend that the Senate bill’s proposed funding changes are dangerous given the nation’s burgeoning epidemic.
“‘I would lose the therapy and the people I talk to now,’ Ferguson said. ‘They’re like my sense of security right now. I can always check in with them. They’re what keeps me sober, really.’
“Ferguson, 33, said she became hooked on prescription opioids after injuring her neck in a car accident at 18.”
“‘I couldn’t say whether I could make it or not,’ she said. ‘I can never say that I got this, or that I’ll never go back to using or not.’”
“At nine-years-old and weighing 70 pounds, Jason cannot fend for himself. He can barely walk a few consecutive steps, and uses a wheelchair when out of the house. When he turned two, he was diagnosed with autism; he has epilepsy, is allergic to various foods and suffers from GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease), a gastrointestinal disorder that causes acid reflux and vomiting. He needs regular medical check-ups, as well as speech, physical and occupational therapies.
“Jason’s parents manage his care thanks to Medicaid, the federal and state aid program that provides health care coverage to one in five Americans, or 75 million people.
“Jason's parents know their family’s situation is likely to change if Senate Republicans pass the Better Reconciliation Care Act (BRCA), which would repeal the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare.
“‘We have followed every step of the news because it affects us terribly,’ says Jennifer Stein, Jason’s mother. ‘If that law passes, it would be devastating for us.’”
“More than 40 percent of children rely on Medicaid — a number that’s grown as scientific advances have enabled more children to survive serious illnesses. Of more than 30 million children enrolled in Medicaid, at least two million have complex medical conditions such as cancer or heart conditions.
“Ellie Schmidt is one of those children. In her nine years, she’s endured three open-heart surgeries, 10 cardiac catheterizations, a feeding tube, daily medications, about 100 days in the hospital, physical and occupational therapies, and numerous labs, X-rays and other procedures.
“Her health care expenses reached $1 million before she turned four. With the help of UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital staff, her parents applied for Medicaid and now rely on it to help cover medical expenses not provided for through private health insurance.
“‘Medicaid has been a lifesaver for us,” Heidi Schmidt said in a statement. She noted Ellie always will need doctor visits, meaning she’ll always be paying medical bills. ‘We are fighting to keep her health coverage so she can be healthy,’ Heidi said.
“ACA provisions that in the past few years have enabled families to achieve reliable coverage without worries over pre-existing conditions or coverage caps have been ‘huge,’ according to Scholz. ‘Especially for kids like Ellie Schmidt,’ he added.”
“The McLellands are a middle-class family. Justin McLelland, 39, is a Lemoore High School PE teacher and his wife is a former Fresno police officer who retired after an on-the-job shoulder injury.
“The family’s private insurance pays for the majority of James’ medical expenses – but not all. Most families with a child with a severe medical conditions end up seeking help from Medi-Cal and from California Children’s Services for medical expenses not covered by their insurance.
“‘Every middle-class family is one medical issue away from bankruptcy,’ Jennifer McLelland, 36, says. ‘And the Affordable Care Act has made it possible for our lives to continue to function with a disabled, medically fragile child.’
“Medi-Cal, the California version of Medicaid, is jointly funded by the federal and state government and provides services to adults and children with low incomes, as well as for adults and children with disabilities. In the central San Joaquin Valley, it is the insurance plan for nearly 50 percent of the population.”
Washington Post: Jensen Kinsey, West Virginia–Recovered from neonatal surgery, but still has lasting effects and pays $14,600 a year in medical expenses paid through Medicaid
“Jensen Kinsey was born prematurely at 27 weeks, weighing just over two pounds. The delivery team rushed him to a ventilator so quickly his mother didn’t even know whether her baby was a boy or a girl.
“He then spent the next 15 months in the neonatal intensive care unit of the children’s hospital at West Virginia’s largest academic medical center, WVU Medicine. He needed a breathing tube, a feeding tube, even surgery to crack his skull and give his brain room to grow.
“Now 6, Jensen lives in a town about 20 miles to the south with his older sister and parents. Jeb Kinsey, 43, is a carpenter whose union’s Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance covers only a portion of Jensen’s care. Cheryl Kinsey, 45, works part time at a clothing store and an assisted-living facility. Neither job provides health coverage.”
“Jensen’s breathing tube is gone, but he still gets winded easily. Medicaid pays for allergy medicines and the two inhalers he needs to keep his airways open. And he still receives all his nutrition through a button on his stomach because he never learned to swallow. His father’s insurance doesn’t cover the formula that provides that nutrition, six-packs that cost almost $10 each. “He goes through about four a day,” according to his mother, totaling about $14,600 a year.”
“‘What about those other babies? How are their families going to survive?’ she said. ‘I just couldn’t imagine.’”
Green Bay Press-Gazette: Denmark family puts face on Medicaid debate
“Watching 6-year-old Steve Warpinski play T-ball, you'd never guess that just three years ago he was heading into an operating room for his third open heart surgery. He was born in September 2010 with five congenital heart defects.
“The Warpinskis have health insurance through Matt Warpinski's job as a steamfitter at a manufacturer in the area, and Molly Warpinski works as a respiratory therapist. Still, the deductibles and out-of-pocket costs for their son's medical care were more than they ever imagined or could have handled on their own.
“‘Thousands and thousands of dollars,’ Molly said.
“On top of the three-stage open heart surgery that began when Steve was just 9 days old, Molly Warpinski said they will never forget the sinking feeling when she saw that their portion of a bill to airlift Steve to Milwaukee was more than $12,000.
“‘That financial burden would have been just absolutely debilitating to our livelihood, home life … everything,’ she said.
“She said it was depressing to think that the family faced potential financial ruin as a consequence of doing what needed to be done to help their son survive.”
Business Insider: ‘Everything is in jeopardy’: Mothers whose children could lose coverage under the GOP healthcare plan speak out
“When Marlee Stefanelli's son Matthew was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, she didn't know she could use Medicaid to cover some of the costs of his treatment.
“Medicaid is usually thought of as an insurance program for the poor, and Stefanelli's family has health insurance, which they bought from the Affordable Care Act's insurance exchange in Pennsylvania.
“But while Stefanelli was at the hospital, a social worker told her about PH-95, a program in Pennsylvania that covers medical expenses for children regardless of their parent's income. It's funded by Medicaid.
“Stefanelli estimates the program covers about $1,800 worth of Matthew's expenses — which can include insulin, blood glucose monitoring, and hospital visits — a month.”
“Her son’s type of diabetes is incurable, and the idea that this coverage might be cut — which would put her son’s insurance at risk both now and once he’s an adult — has turned her into a political activist. ‘Everything is in jeopardy,’ Stefanelli said.”
San Antonio Express News: For some San Antonians, battle over Obamacare repeal is personal
“Kelly Trout has always dreamed of her daughter, Caroline Larson, leading an independent, fulfilling life.
“Larson, 35, was born with a rare condition — ‘uber rare,’ as she puts it — that left her legally blind with mental and physical disabilities, and unable to live on her own.
“Thanks to Medicaid, Larson shares a group home with five other adults, who also have disabilities. She’s lived there for eight years.
“‘Once she got into the group home, she was more independent than even I thought she could be,’ Trout said. ‘That’s priceless.’”
“But in recent months, Trout has grown wary of what might happen to her daughter if Senate Republicans pass their health care bill.
“Known as the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017, the bill would drastically reduce Medicaid through spending caps as part of a larger plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. The federal limits would kick in starting in 2021.
“The bill could also mean the loss of insurance coverage for an array of services that the ACA mandated, such as mental health, substance abuse, maternity and newborn care.
“As some dread what could happen to their coverage, some businesses favor the bill because it erases provisions of the ACA that they see as driving up health insurance costs, even to the point of forcing them to lay off workers.”
LISTEN: WBUR Radio Boston: Maine Family Will Visit D.C. To Fight For Medicaid
“On Wednesday and Thursday, a group of families who have received care at Boston Children's Hospital will be meeting with members of Congress to convince them of the value of a strong Medicaid program.
“Among them will be the parents of 3-year-old Wesley Ethridge of York, Maine. Wesley was born with congenital heart disease and received a heart transplant at Children's Hospital.”
The Columbus Dispatch: Dublin 6-year-old visits Congress over health care battle
“When Noble was born, he wouldn’t eat. Even though he was carried full term, doctors became concerned when he wouldn’t take a bottle. They ran blood tests to determine he had a genetic disorder that could cause problems ranging from speech delays to physical delays.
“Thanks to the federal Children’s Health Insurance Program, his mother said, the family is able to afford the $26,000 to $30,000 in additional costs his therapy requires each year. That price tag is in addition to basic insurance costs.
“‘If we didn’t have CHIP, I don’t know how we would meet his needs,’ she said, using the acronym for the program, which is due to be reauthorized.
“‘For us, it’s the difference between being middle class or not, keeping our house or not,’ she said.
The Tennessean: Trump supporter: Republican health plan 'terrifies me'
“This terrifies me. My dear 5-year-old son, Drake, was born with a severe heart defect. He will eventually need a heart transplant. While he waits to become eligible for a transplant, he cannot survive without medication that costs $6,000 per month, as well as in-home nursing care.
“Though I work a full-time job as an operations manager for Waste Management, my family could not afford this medication and nursing care on my salary alone. Luckily, Drake is eligible for Medicaid, or TennCare as it is known in Tennessee. Without Medicaid’s help paying for Drake’s medication and nursing care, he would not survive more than a few days. Medicaid is literally a lifesaver for my son.
“The AHCA will cut federal funding for Medicaid by more than $800 billion over the next 10 years. That translates into a $500 million cut to TennCare each year. There is no way that TennCare can absorb such losses without cutting care for kids, like Drake, whose care is the most costly.
“This makes me terribly afraid for Drake, knowing his life is in the hands of Congress instead of his doctors.”
The Boston Globe: Back home, Mainers are urging Susan Collins to stay strong
“Susan Crimmins lived in the rural town of Minot, a place of about 2,500 in Androscoggin County, until moving to Portland three years ago after a workplace shoulder injury forced her into a job change and 20 months of physical therapy.
“She credits Obamacare with her ability to obtain health insurance she needs for chronic vision problems.
“Crimmins has read every paragraph of the Senate health care bill. And it scares her.
“‘We’re a really rural state, and we’re really old,’ Crimmins said. ‘This country should not decide that people’s health and welfare are more important than tax cuts.’ Crimmins wants Collins to follow in the footsteps of Margaret Chase Smith, a woman Collins once spent two hours with in 1971 while on a high school trip to Washington.
“‘Collins is very cagey,’ Crimmins said. ‘She’s committed in public against the motion to proceed. That’s allowed me to sleep for the first time in months. What concerns me is what happens if the bill is tweaked. Maine has always been independent, and we’re just asking her to assert her independence.’”
Augusta Chronicle: Children with special needs suffer due to Medicaid cuts
Stacey English and her 7-year-old daughter, Addison (Augusta Chronicle)
“Stacey English has modest desires for her 7-year-old daughter, Addison: Be able to eat without gagging and move both her arms.
“But since Addison’s occupational therapist went out of business this winter, the child with a rare genetic disorder has regressed in her fight to do even that much.
“‘I don’t know where to go from here,’ said English, who has been unable to find a replacement therapist in their Texas college town of College Station. ‘How do you continue to help her make progress when you don’t have someone to teach her?’”
Washington Post: Eric Jette, Santa Fe, New Mexico–Emphysema patient might “fall through the cracks” with Medicaid cuts
“For most of his adult life, Eric Jette was an uninsured house painter. That changed in 2014 after his state of New Mexico, spurred by the extra funding made available through the ACA, expanded its Medicaid program to cover 240,000 additional low-income residents.
“In Sante Fe, Jette began seeing doctors for the first time in years. The former smoker eventually was diagnosed with emphysema, plus an inherited disorder that can cause lung disease as well as liver problems.
“Today he takes several medications a day, uses inhalers and round-the-clock oxygen, and gets a weekly drug infusion for his genetic condition. He works out as much as he can. “If it weren’t for the ACA,’ said Jette, 57, ‘I’d be dead.’”
“‘They are cutting a lot deeper than just the expanded Medicaid,’ he said. ‘And anyhow, I have always managed to fall through the cracks.’”
Washington Post: Elizabeth Alcorn and Gerald Corridon–Fear the trouble their pre-existing conditions will have on their ability to get affordable insurance
“Dentist Elizabeth Alcorn sold her practice in Charlottesville this spring because severe arthritis in her hands made it tough to work on patients. But she and her husband, Gerald Corridon, decided to stay on the business’s small-group plan until early next year. Although the premiums cost almost $2,000 a month, their out-of-pocket costs are reasonable and their doctors are in-network. Next year, who knows?
“They are already worrying about future coverage given what’s happening on Capitol Hill. Both are too young for Medicare; she’s 56, and he’s 61. Both also have significant health problems; besides her arthritis, he is dealing with a recurrence of prostate cancer. She wonders whether those medical conditions will prevent them from getting another plan — and how much it will cost.
“‘I’ve been really upset,’ said Alcorn, whose concerns include her mother, now in a nursing home because of a recent stroke. The Senate legislation ‘is a disaster for my family.’”
Washington Post: Tierra Jolly, Washington, D.C.–Mother of child with Down Syndrome and heart condition, “We shouldn’t have to worry about all this. We just want to make sure our daughter is taken care of.”
“Tierra Jolly considers herself lucky: Two months ago, she gave birth to a beautiful little girl named Rocket. ‘She’s smart and tough,’ Jolly says. ‘And she’s a really easy baby.’
“But Rocket, born with Down syndrome, has serious health challenges. She has a heart defect that will require at least one operation. And her Down syndrome puts her at increased risk of leukemia, hearing loss and other problems down the road, including Alzheimer’s disease.
“All of that increases the stakes for the insurance decisions facing Jolly and her husband, Russell Lee, who live in the District.
“Jolly, who is on leave from a teaching position, currently pays the full insurance bill of $1,500 a month for herself and her daughter. That coverage will end soon; Jolly is staying home this fall because of her daughter’s medical needs. Lee is adding his wife to his insurance plan, which will kick in once he begins working in August at a local charter school. The question is how to best protect Rocket and the care she’ll need.
“For financial and long-term reasons, Jolly and Lee think it might be better to have the baby covered by Medicaid. She wouldn’t qualify based on income — the family’s is too high given Lee’s job — but she might through a special program used by the District and all states to help children with disabilities or complex medical needs.
“The Senate legislation, like a House bill, would impose funding limits on Medicaid that would result in billions of dollars in projected cuts over the next decade. ‘We shouldn’t have to worry about all this,’ Jolly said. ‘We just want to make sure our daughter is taken care of.’”
Boston Herald: Tom Geraci, Newton, Massachusetts–Medicaid helped cover the surgeries the now 14-year-old had as an infant and the $1.3 million bill from his stay in the neonatal ICU.
“Tom, who is legally blind and is on the autism spectrum, has needed multiple surgeries over his short life and requires speech and physical therapies to help overcome some of his medical obstacles.
“Medicaid helped cover surgeries he had on his heart, stomach and eyes as an infant — as well as the $1.3 million bill his parents received just from his 120-day stay in the neonatal intensive care unit.
“The GOP Senate bill would make deep cuts to Medicaid and would significantly scale back federal subsidies, which have been crucial for coverage in states like Massachusetts.
“‘We qualified for Medicaid, which has allowed us to really focus on his care and not get so caught up in bills,’ said Tom’s mother, Cristin, who had to quit her job to care for her son. ‘It’s a little scary to think about what’s to come.’”
CBS Evening News: Leah Cohen, Akron, Ohio–Receives treatment for opioid addiction through Medicaid expansion and “probably would be dead” without it
ADRIANA DIAZ: “They credit their progress to counseling and a drug called Vivitrol, which costs $1200 a dose. They get it for free, because like 2500 other patients here, they qualify for Obamacare's expanded Medicaid program.”
LEAH COHEN: “Once my addiction took hold and I quit my job, I was uninsured. I had nothing. So without Medicaid expansion, I probably would be dead.”
DIAZ: “But the proposal in the senate rolls back Medicaid expansion, and that could potentially cut this treatment center's Medicaid funding by 75%…The opioid epidemic claimed 4100 lives in Ohio last year, 308 here in Akron. What would you say to the folks in Washington who are talking about cutting back on Medicaid?”
COHEN: “Please, don't do it. You're going to have the blood of a lot of innocent people on your hands.”
Houston Chronicle: Angela and James Cantu, Spring, Texas–Parents of child with cerebral palsy and epilepsy
“Both she and her husband, James, work full time and get insurance through their jobs. But their policies come nowhere near covering all that Nicholas needs.
“‘Medicaid has been able to sustain our daily life,’ she said.
“There is the equipment needed for his daily feedings through a tube, the private duty nurse, the cabinet full of medicine and his specialized bed, wheelchair and car seat.
“She has watched what the Texas cuts in reimbursement have done. In June, she got a letter from Nicholas' physical therapist who said she would no longer be able to accept Medicaid.
“‘I cried myself to sleep that night,’ Cantu said.
“Nicholas defies the odds every day. As she watches the unfolding drama in Washington over Medicaid she wants to scream at the television. It's not politics. It's personal.
“When they make it political they take away the faces of those who are benefiting from these services and put dollar signs in front of them,” she said, her voice tinged with fear but also bewilderment.
..Why do they have to target the kids?’”
New York Times: Kimberlee Harkins, Vestavia Hills, Alabama–Sister of man with numerous disabilities relies on Medicaid to provide part-time care for her brother so that she can pursue a career
“Eric Harkins will never be able to have a job. With cerebral palsy, intellectual and a seizure disorder, he cannot speak or move other than scooting across the floor on his knees and elbows. “But Medicaid has allowed his sister, Kimberlee, to pursue a career as a vocational rehabilitation counselor instead of caring for him full time.
“‘He requires help with every aspect of daily living,’ Ms. Harkins said, stroking her brother's arm as he watched a cartoon in their living room one recent afternoon in Vestavia Hills, outside Birmingham. “If our caregivers went away tomorrow, I’d have to quit my job and take care of Eric.’
“Because he can be physically aggressive, a day program is out of the question, Ms. Harkins said. But his mother, Judy Harkins, said that if he was placed in a nursing home, ‘he would die, and it would kill me, too.’”
New York Times: Matthew Foster, Vestavia Hills, Alabama–34-year-old man with Down syndrome maintains an independent life with the help of his caretaker
“Every weekday, Medicaid allows Matthew Foster to spend a few hours pursuing one cherished activity after the next: working out at the gym, taking an art class, shopping for groceries, visiting his elderly aunt. The program pays for an aide to spend 20 hours a week with Mr. Foster, 34, who has Down syndrome and cannot read well or drive.
“Mr. Foster spent eight years on a Medicaid waiting list to get the coverage. Before he got it, help came from his mother, Susan Ellis, and his two younger siblings, who have since moved away.
“‘My hope is that when Mike and I aren’t around anymore, he will be able to maintain his life the way he lives it now,’ Ms. ellis said. ‘That means living in the community he’s grown up in.’”
ABC 11: Fighting for daughter, NC pastor walking to DC
“James Brigman is protesting cuts to Medicaid as lawmakers debate how to repeal and replace Obamacare. He began his journey Friday morning from Rockingham and arrived in downtown Raleigh on Monday afternoon to a cheering crowd.
“‘I just want to tell them to get to know the facts before you make hasty decisions,’ Brigman said. He is wasting no time getting his message to lawmakers about the potentially devastating consequences for his family and so many more. ‘I plan on going as far as I have to go just to get awareness,’ he said.”
CNN: After fighting for her daughter's life, mom fears GOP health care bill
“She explained that her family has health insurance through her husband's job, but they're still responsible for deductibles, copayments, and other expenses — which add up to more than $12,000 a year. Medicaid pays for those extra costs.
“Garrett told Wood not to worry, saying ‘they're not getting rid of Medicaid.’ But the House bill, which Garrett voted for, would reduce federal spending on Medicaid by nearly a quarter by 2026 compared to current law, according to a Congressional Budget Office estimate.”
Lebanon Daily News: Senator hears from families who need Medicaid to survive
“Gwen Wenger doesn’t know how she and her family would survive without the Medicaid benefits that cover tens of thousands of dollars in medical expenses each year for her severely mentally and physically disabled daughter.
“Emma, 14, has a rare seizure disorder and has been confined to a wheelchair. She was in a crib to sleep at night until she was 10, and then was able to get a special bed through Medicaid.
“‘It has left Emma globally delayed,’ said Wenger. ‘She doesn’t walk or talk and she has full care needs. But that aside, she has the sweetest personality.’”
“‘These are not the extras that make life easier,’ Wenger said, looking at her sleeping daughter. ‘These are Emma’s necessities for her life, that give her some quality of life.’
“Wenger believes there is a misperception among the public about the type of people who receive Medicaid.
“‘Medicaid is thought of as something generally for low-income families. Or, you know, it’s kind of a mindset. But that’s not the case. It’s to help children with disabilities that come from any kind of families,’ she said.”