Colorful Commentary

The True Cost of Medicaid Cuts: Hope’s Story

Posted July 19, 2017 by Dominica Gonzalez
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“I’m not helpless, but I need help.”

Hope Krause was born with cerebral palsy. She depends on Medicaid and other state programs to help her pay for her medical necessities, like her caregiver and wheelchair. If her Medicaid allotment were to be cut, she would not be able to afford to live independently. She is worried that she would have to go to cheap nursing home.

Her condition makes her unable to move her legs on her own and impairs her body movement. Her caretaker helps her adjust her body when she requests it so that she can manage her pain. Without this proper attention, she will need to start taking strong painkillers regularly and move out of her own home into a nursing home. In a nursing home, Hope would have to wait for help from attendants who are juggling several patients. No human being wants to wait around in a dirty Depend.

Her caregiver and other state-funded services allow Hope to be active in her community. She is the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition Coordinator and is an advocate for people with disabilities in Ft Morgan, Brush, and Sterling. As an advocate for people with disabilities, she empowers people and helps them navigate services so that they can live more fulfilling lives. But with Medicaid cuts on the table, Hope is also worried about her ability to live the life she wants to live.

There have been several ‘repeal and replace’ health care bills in 2017, and they all impose a per capita cap on Medicaid spending. Research shows that a per capita cap will not be able to keep up with increasing healthcare costs, reducing the federal dollars that go to states to provide care for people like Hope. States depend on these federal dollars to fund Medicaid, Medicare, and other state medical services; with a per capita cap, states will be forced to choose between cutting schools and roads, or cutting services, like in home care and lifesaving prescription drug coverage for the elderly and disabled.

Call you Senators and Representatives and tell them that you want people who rely on Medicaid to live healthy and humane lives!

Video produced by Dominica Gonzalez

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