Medicaid a Lifeline for Families
It is an understatement to say that families are facing tough times today. As a single and unemployed mother to two small children, I certainly am.
Because of that, now is the wrong time to cut the little social safety net we have left in this country. For many of us, slashed Medicaid funding, for example, would make the difference between us being working class and living in abject poverty.
The Congressional Super Committee, of which my Senator Patty Murray is a member, has a task to cut at least $1.2 trillion from the federal deficit. Unbelievably, details are surfacing about a plan proposed by Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) and some of his colleagues on the Congressional "Super Committee" that would actually reduce tax rates for millionaires while cutting essential services for children, youth, and the elderly. This means that programs like Medicaid could be on the chopping block, causing millions of Americans to lose their health care coverage.
I know firsthand how devastating these cuts would be. I have a nine-year-old son, Leo, and an almost one-year-old daughter, Olga. Olga was born under difficult circumstances.
I was planning a home birth, but had to undergo an emergency C-section. Private health insurance that I had at the time did not cover all the expenses associated with the hospitalization, and I could not foresee them. I did not have enough money to pay for the costly treatment and room at the hospital, so the nurse told me about this program that would pay for whatever my insurance did not cover. Medicaid surely helped me out in a hard situation, so I am thankful that it exists and I do not want it to face any cuts.
I know there are many women out there with a similar story, and I am worried about our future generation. America needs healthy and happy children who will make the country prosperous. To Senator Murray and her colleagues in the Super Committee, I say now is the wrong time to eliminate health care coverage for families.
Elena Rumiansteva is a MomsRising member who lives in Seattle, Washington.