I’m not currently on Medicaid because I work and make more than $1000 per month, but I am enrolled in a personal care attendant program that is tied to Medicaid for working Texans. Therefore, I take any cuts or caps to Medicaid seriously because:
1) I know that there will be a day in the future when I may not be able to continue working due to my disability’s progression, so I may need to enroll in a Medicaid program to survive.
And most importantly:
2) Many of my closest friends with disabilities are enrolled in their state’s Medicaid programs primarily for the benefit of receiving personal attendant services (long-term care benefits like this are not typically provided by health insurance policies). I do not want to imagine a world where people I love would be forced into institutionalization if their aging parents couldn’t take care of them anymore, or if they weren’t as lucky as I am to have the at-home support I need.
Without Medicaid, people with neuromuscular disabilities like mine would not be able to get out of bed in the morning, use the restroom, shower, eat, get positioned in their wheelchairs, and/or even own a wheelchair.
Without Medicaid, my friends would be trapped in a bed for days on end. No independence. No autonomy. No choice. Their livelihood would fall to the mercy of volunteers (family or friends) who would hopefully do their best to take care of their needs.
Without Medicaid, my friends “on welfare” would not be able to get to school, earn degrees that will allow them to compete, and get jobs that lead to working and paying taxes. Work or having a reason to get up and going each day makes lives meaningful. Medicaid, in a sense, makes our lives worth living.
The integration of people living with disabilities into their communities should be a no-brainer. Every single person reading this post could become disabled at any given moment. In fact, 90% of all Americans will end-up with a disability at some point in their lives. This includes your parents, your children or future children, your closest friends, and yes, YOU. Would you want this kind of fate? Would you want to lose your independence, autonomy, or purpose in life by the stroke of a pen held by the stubby orange fingers of a buffoon?
Look around you. Look at yourself. Share this, tweet this, and #SaveMedicaid.