Letters: Protect Medicaid funding

Dear Editor,

Medicaid – the safety next for millions of Americans – continues to be under attack.

Whether debating healthcare legislation, tax reform or deficit reduction, lawmakers see Medicaid as some magic source of ready-made cost savings. Many don’t seem to understand how intertwined Medicaid is within society; a lifeline for so many families – like mine.

I am the parent of a 37-year-old son, Jason, with a rare uncontrollable seizure disorder since birth. My husband and I are in our 70s. We have carefully prepared for our financial future. But all our efforts would do little to cover the enormous cost of Jason’s medical needs for the rest of his life.

Jason requires a wheelchair and has very limited use of his hands. He cannot use a computer or feed himself, and he needs full time care and multiple medications and medical devices. He lives in a wonderful residential facility in West Orange, with a professional and caring staff he loves.

I am worried about what will happen if Jason outlives us or we become disabled. Who will protect him if we can’t count on the Medicaid funding that keeps him alive and thriving?

I’m also troubled over whether my husband and I will have the care we will need down the road. We are in the process of moving to a senior living community in Pompton Plains to be nearer to Jason. My parents lived to 88 and 92, and Medicaid allowed them to stay in their nursing home when they outlived their savings.

Medicaid provides safety and quality of life for the most vulnerable among us – the elderly and those with disabilities. None of us knows when we will need this help, through no fault of our own.

I implore our elected officials to make the case for stable Medicaid funding for those who can’t.

Helen Steinberg

One Comment

  1. All the other wealthy democratic countries have universal health care and some of them for many decades. Everyone is covered from cradle to grave and no one goes bankrupt from medical costs in those countries. Medications cost a fraction of what they do in the US. We have tens of millions with no health insurance and millions more with inadequate insurance. This in the richest country on earth. We have the most expensive health care system and yet our medical outcomes are no better or even worse in many areas of medical results (such as longevity and infant mortality). It’s bad enough that we don’t have universal health care but now with Trump and the GOP in charge, Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security are under attack. LBJ gave us Medicare and Medicaid and FDR created Social Security. The GOP and DT want to undo all these essential social programs. It’s just a crime and an obscenity that we don’t have universal health care in 2018. Truman proposed a national health care system in the late 1940s but was defeated by the GOP and the AMA. The ACA was a feeble attempt at national healthcare but even it left about 30 millions uncovered. The ACA was better than nothing, however Trump is in the process of destroying it.

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