Friday, September 30, 2022

Play

Florida begins a long effort to recover from Ian, an Arkansas school works to attract more students to higher education, and Massachusetts Narcan trainers enlist the public's help to prevent overdose deaths.

Play

Hurricane Ian leaves severe flooding and millions without power in Florida, the Senate passed a spending bill to keep the government running to December, and senators aim for greater oversight of federal prisons.

Play

Baseball is America's pastime, and more international players are taking the stage, rural communities can get help applying for federal funds through the CHIPS and Science Act, and a Texas university is helping more Black and Latina women pursue careers in agriculture.

Protests Mark Medicaid/Medicare 47th Birthday

Play

Tuesday, July 31, 2012   

CHICAGO - President Lyndon Johnson signed into law the bill that created Medicaid and Medicare 47 years ago this week. To mark the anniversary, demonstrators have been taking to the streets of Chicago to protest Medicaid cuts they say threaten their lives and independence.

Shea Ako protests for his 16-month-old son Alejandro, who has a disability known as spinal muscular atrophy. He says the budget cuts could put his son in an institution, even though he's thriving at home.

"Our therapists, our doctors, everybody we work with, they are all so excited because he's doing so well. He really is thriving. We wouldn't trade Alejandro for the world. He's the greatest kid ever. He has this disability. He's doing great. He's happy."

The in-home care is covered by what is known as an MFTD, "medically-fragile, technology-dependent" waiver, which has been cut, but restored temporarily. The state says the cut will save millions of dollars, but MFTD parents say institutionalizing their children will cost even more and won't provide better care.

For Alejandro, his dad says in-home care costs $19,000 a month, compared with $55,000 in an institution.

Because Alejandro is not able to play physically the way other children do, but cognitively he's perfectly normal, his parents spend a lot of time adapting activities so that he can enjoy life to the fullest. And someone is always there to clear his airways when he has trouble breathing.

Ako is afraid his son would not survive in an institution if left alone even for a couple of minutes.

"It happens on a regular basis where he has respiratory episodes. If there was somebody checking on him every 15 minutes, he wouldn't last a week."

Adam Ballard, housing coordinator for the disability-rights group Access Living of Metropolitan Chicago, also faces problems because of the Medicaid cuts. He is a father of two young children who uses a wheelchair and depends on a personal attendant to help him get ready for work in the morning and at home at the end of the day. His in-home service hours will be cut and he says it makes no sense. In general, he says studies show that for the cost of one person in a nursing home the state can pay for home care for three people.

Ballard says Illinois has started to shift dollars, but not enough.

"We're still at about 65 percent of all Medicaid money in the state goes to institutional care. Only about 35 percent goes to in-home care. We really want to see that get closer to 50-50 at the very least."

The protesters are hoping that state lawmakers will reconsider Medicaid cuts during the fall veto session. The MFTD waiver is the subject of a lawsuit and is under review for 90 days.

More information is at www.savemftdwaiver.com and at tinyurl.com/cxou2a3.




get more stories like this via email

The number of absentee ballots requested by Michigan voters increased by 73% between the 2018 and 2020 elections, according to the Michigan Secretary of State. (JimCanally/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Voting advocates say more and more Michiganders are choosing to cast absentee ballots to save time and avoid long lines on Election Day. In 2020…


Social Issues

With the election a little over a month away, some say caregiving and long-term care are issues too big for candidates in Oregon to ignore. There …

Environment

Pennsylvania has a strong commitment to urban agriculture and community gardening, and some groups in the state are working to get more colorful …


Southern Co., the parent company of Georgia Power, says it is actively advancing a net-zero goal by 2050. (Photo of Plant Wansley by Joe Cook; flight provided by SouthWings)

Environment

Georgia Power is reducing its reliance on coal by phasing out several coal-fired units. However, clean-energy advocates say the company should …

Social Issues

A new report on Black students in the community college system found fewer are signing up to attend two-year schools, and the college enrollment …

No-till farming is considered one of several conservation practices in agriculture. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

Greenhouse gas emissions have been potentially reduced by 50,000 tons in the state, with the help of Wisconsin farmers supported by a statewide …

Social Issues

Social Security benefits again could see their highest increase in several decades, but those advocating for beneficiaries say there is still plenty …

Environment

Watchdog groups say chickens used by Costco are bred to grow so quickly, many of them cannot stand under their own weight, and recent lawsuits …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021