Saving amazing young Grace, her Medicaid

MARIAN WRIGHT EDELMAN | 5/22/2017, 9:22 a.m.
“At a 20-week ultrasound, we learned that our baby would be born with spina bifida and face a lifetime of ...

Children’s Defense Fund

“At a 20-week ultrasound, we learned that our baby would be born with spina bifida and face a lifetime of enormous health challenges.” At the time, Chris Glaros was a public servant in the Ohio Treasurer’s office. In his recent Facebook post, he continued, “After hearing this news, the first thing I could think to do when we got home was read my Bible. I randomly opened up the scriptures to see what would speak to me. And it was John 14:27: ‘Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.’ God’s amazing comfort in that moment was made all the more real through [the] blessing of good health insurance for our family – indeed, the generous health care provided by the taxpayers of Ohio, given my job at that time. I knew that this baby would bankrupt our family if we weren’t so fortunate.”

Glaros wrote that he and his wife chose to have this precious child they named Grace and “trusted our society – our government, Republicans and Democrats both – to ensure a safety net for her life after our choice was made. Grace would not be alive today without this safety net; without protections against a lifetime limit on her insurance coverage; without protections from denying coverage because of her countless preexisting conditions; without Medicaid.” Millions of children and adults rely on the Medicaid safety net just as the Glaros family has. His post shortly after the House of Representatives passed the un-American Health Care Act (AHCA) spoke for so many when he added: “I am heartbroken that Donald Trump and House Republicans could so callously and cruelly deny millions of Americans the health care they require to live the lives God intended.”

The House’s un-American and unjust act to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would strip away affordable health insurance for tens of millions of the newly insured, including those with pre-existing conditions. Today, thanks in large part to Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and the ACA, 95 percent of all children in America have health coverage. The House bill directly threatens all that hard earned progress.

Do the Republican-led Congress and White House really want to be the first Congress and administration in history to take health coverage away from the most vulnerable amongst us, disabled, young and old? How can they defend destroying the Medicaid health safety net 37 million poor and disabled children need to live, learn and thrive and permit insurance companies to discriminate against children and adults with pre-existing conditions? There are 11 million parents and other adults getting Medicaid and needed treatments for the first time under the ACA. Medicaid covers more than 60 percent of all nursing home residents and 40 percent of costs for long-term care services and supports. This cruel and unwise assault on our children, parents and grandparents is made more shameful by the fact that the House-passed bill cuts Medicaid largely to give more tax breaks to the wealthiest. This is sinful, shameful and unjust.