Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Play

Bill to expand tax credits draws on children's health data, Alaskans file petition opposing giant grocery merger, and a revised Colorado water plan prioritizes conservation.

Play

President Biden is set to give the State of the Union address, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy calls the national debt limit the United States' greatest threat, and Kamala Harris announces new pledges to offer more economic stability in Central America.

Play

Is bird flu, inflation or price gouging to blame for astronomical egg prices? Pregnancy can be life-changing or life-ending depending on where you live, and nine tribal schools are transforming their outdoor spaces into community gathering areas.

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

As many as 11% of eligible voters do not have the kind of identification that is required by states with strict ID requirements, according to the Brennan Center for Justice. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Secretary of State Shenna Bellows said a bill to require Maine voters to present photo identification in order to cast ballots is unnecessary and coul…


Social Issues

A bill to increase tax credits in the Commonwealth is backed up by research showing the credits lead to better nutrition for working families and bett…

Environment

Part of the deal Wyoming struck for sending its water down the Colorado River was that state residents would be able to tap electricity generated at G…


Advocates and activists from both the liberal and conservative sides are trying to encourage voter turnout for the upcoming state Supreme Court race, given the impact the outcome will have on the court's ideological balance. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Wisconsin's primary election is two weeks away, and a high-profile state Supreme Court race is on the ballot. Several advocacy groups are behind a …

Environment

A coalition of conservation groups is giving Colorado's revised state water plan a thumbs-up for its increased focus on protecting Colorado's rivers…

Last year, the Federal Trade Commission reported a 70% increase in reported fraud losses from consumers. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Victims of investment-related fraud in North Dakota could soon recoup some of their losses through a proposed restitution fund. A bill to establish …

Social Issues

West Virginia is among a handful of states with the highest increases in educational attainment between 2019 and 2021, according to a new report from …

Social Issues

The state's "divisive concepts" law is preventing educators from holding rational discussions about race relations in America, New Hampshire civil …

 

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