Congress will be voting this week on a federal budget that directly targets Medicaid, and therefore the healthcare 68 million people rely on. The proposed budget turns the Medicaid program into a block grant, which essentially puts a cap on the amount of money that can be spent on the program. They call it giving states more flexibility, but what this really means is states could cut eligibility and scale back benefits, hurting people who need healthcare the most. The proposal also blocks Medicaid expansion, which already allowed millions of families to gain healthcare coverage. All of this would lead to people losing their much needed healthcare.
Medicaid is a critical support for families, especially those of us who are caring for children, have aging parents, or have family members with disabilities. Below are three stories, similar to the millions around the country, from moms who currently rely on Medicaid or have used it as a support in the past. After you read their stories, please submit your own experience with Medicaid here and write Congress and tell them to protect this vital program in the budget.
Carolyn from New York
“Almost 25 years ago, my daughter Athena was born three months prematurely. She was eventually diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and has severe physical disabilities. However, it was evident almost from the beginning that she was an exceedingly smart little girl. She attended regular public schools and recently graduated from college with a bachelor’s degree in French. Through it all, Medicaid sustained her life in the community, and continues to do so. We relied on Medicaid-funded programs to pay for the intensive physical therapy that she needed as a child and continues to need in order to maintain her level of functioning.”
Lisbeth from Maryland
“When my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s we used her entire Social Security and pension, plus my father’s VA pension and Medicaid to cover the cost of a skilled nursing facility. My mother was a nurse for over 30 years and dedicated her life to taking care of others. In turn, she and our whole family relied on Medicaid to take care of her.”
AnnMarie from Massachusetts
“My daughter Grace was born at 26 weeks for reasons that are unknown. She was 2 lbs and 6 oz. The NICU was my daughter’s home for the first 2 and a half months of her life. Even with excellent health care coverage, there is no way that Grace’s father and I could ever have paid for the extensive care she received. We benefitted from Medicaid for the first year of life because of Grace’s prematurity. This was a lifesaver for us as the debt from her hospitalization and follow-up medical care would have crippled us financially for the rest of our lives. Because this coverage was available, we were able to do the best thing possible: We got to be present parents.”
Your voice is needed now more than ever in order to protect Medicaid for families like Carolyn's, Lisbeth's, and AnnMarie's. Take a moment and write your members of Congress now and tell them to protect Medicaid: http://action.momsrising.org/sign/NoCutstoMedicaid/
And if you would like to share your own experience with Medicaid, please share your story here: https://www.momsrising.org/member_stories/topic/share-your-medicaid-story-with-momsrising/