UPDATED: Moms to Congress: “Have a Heart”Posted July 7th, 2011 by Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner
UPDATE: Exciting news! The White House met with our members Gail, Jessica and Emily on July 7. Senior White House officials listened as these moms shared how Medicaid helped them. They made such a strong impression, the White House said in the blogpost: “[w]e will be doing all we can to fight for them and the millions of Americans who depend on Medicaid each and every day.” Check out their stories just below and leave your comments as well!
Right now, members of Congress and Obama administration officials are meeting about how to reduce our deficit. Some members of Congress are intent on reducing the deficit by making drastic cuts to Medicaid, a critical program that helps millions of elderly, people with disabilities, and children.
What’s worse, many of these same members of Congress insist that our nation has enough money to spend billions to give tax breaks for millionaires, should ignore bi-partisan recommendations to cut nearly a trillion dollars of unnecessary defense spending, and should continue providing $40 billion in giveaways to Big Oil at a time when oil companies are making record profits on sky-high gas prices.
This isn’t just heartless, it’s fiscally shortsighted.
Medicaid helps one in three children in America get the health care they need to prevent small health problems from becoming very serious and expensive problems later. And it helps families care for their loved ones with disabilities and for aging parents without having to give up their jobs.
Hundreds of MomsRising members have recently shared their personal stories about how Medicaid can be a life saver in times of crisis, and we are so glad that we’re able to bring these stories and a few of our members to share their stories in person with the Obama Administration this week.
Stories like that of Emily from Maryland, who wrote:
I had my daughter when I was 20 years old, a sophomore in college. As a single mother of a profoundly disabled child, I completed my undergraduate degree and a Ph. D. in physics. I am proud of that, and I could not have done that without Medicaid to provide for my daughter’s medical expenses.
Or stories like that of Gail from Utah, who wrote:
“I knew something was wrong in my breast, but I had no insurance. I knew that even if I could scrape together enough money for a mammogram, I couldn’t pay for treatment. It would be a pre-existing condition if I got insurance later. So I tried not to worry for 2 years. Finally, my husband heard something on TV about free mammograms for low-income women from the Health Department, so I went in. Yes, it was breast cancer. Yes, it was invasive. And yes, treatment was paid for by Medicaid. Medicaid literally saved my life. My cancer was stage 1, treated by surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and hormones. It’s now been 9 years since my diagnosis. I’m grateful to be alive. I would never have chosen my own treatment over house payments. My family is more important than my life. Today I’m grateful to have both.”
For Gail and for millions like her, Medicaid is literally a life saver. To claim that our budget problems are such that it is absolutely necessary to cut a program that is saving American lives every day and then turn around and insist that we can afford to spend billions on tax breaks for millionaires is the worst kind of cynicism.
Medicaid provides much-needed health coverage for people old, young and in-between. It has allowed people to live, longer, healthier and more productive lives.
People like Jessica’s sister, Missy:
My youngest sister has Down’s Syndrome. She is a wonderful active person who is 46 years old, but she has had some health problems. She lives with our 83 year old mom in the home we grew up in. They both live on Social Security, and our mom is deeply in debt due to increasing living and medical expenses. I am so thankful for Medicaid, which helps pay for many of my sister’s medical expenses. I’m a student and work part-time, my husband lost his job, and we have two kids in college, so we are not able to help much financially. Medicaid has helped my sister live a healthier, more independent life.
These are the voices of the real people who will be impacted by the current budget debate. People who need Medicaid to continue to work, to care for their families, and to ensure a healthy future for their children. At MomsRising we’re so proud of our moms and dads who are speaking up for America’s families and sharing their own personal stories about how Medicaid is critical to their families. You can see an online map of their stories here:
Let’s make sure that our leaders heed their voices and prioritize the needs of America’s families and a healthy future for our nation.
* Medicaid Offers Outstanding Care and Saves Lives, Gail Schimmelpfennig
* How Medicaid Helped a Single Mom Like Me, Emily Townsend
* Medicaid is a Big Help During Tough Economic Times, Jessica Howells
* My Baby Lived Thanks to Medicaid, Lisa in FL
* En La Recesión, Debíamos De Proteger Nuestros Ancianos, Maria Ramirez
* During a Recession, We Should Protect Our Elderly, Maria Ramirez
* Our Unexpected Medical Crisis and How Medicaid Got Us Through, AnnMarie Duchon
* Health Care Coverage Saved My Son, Chantal Reynolds
* Medicaid and My Micro-Preemie Son, Kari Anne Roy
* Please Save Medicaid: We May Need It!, Sheila Faddema
* The Emergency Room is No Replacement for a Doctor, Katrina Alvarez-Hyman
* Do Congressional Leaders Not Get Sick?, Elisa Batista
Articles and Blogposts from around the Web
*Medicaid: More Than Just Numbers, Jon Carson, White House
* Cuts to Medicaid Hurt Kids and Jobs, Bill Bentley
* Take Action TODAY to Protect Medicaid/Medi-Cal!, Cary Sanders
* Can You Put a Price on the Health of a Child?, HyeSook Chung
* Medicaid in Extremis, Melissa Schober
* We All Have a Stake in Medicaid, Lisa Shapiro
* Why Medicaid Matters So Much to Young Adults, Aaron Smith
* Children’s Health Will Pay the Price if Federal Costs are Shifted to the States, Kristen Golden Testa
* Medicaid: The More You Know, Danielle Garrett
* Saving Medicaid: Why the LGBT Community Should Care, Kellan Baker
* Threats to Medicaid Put Women at Risk, Jennifer Mezey
* Medicaid Makes a Difference, Leeann Hall
* Why Medicaid Matters, By a Young Blogger Who Knows, Kathryn Baer
* Ryan Medicaid Cuts Kick Most Vulnerable to the Curb, Laura Tellado
* Block Grants for Medicaid – A Very Bad Idea for Kids, Sue Kirby