July 05, 2011

Families Voices Sound the Call to Preserve Medicaid Funding


 Washington D.C. - Family Voices, a national non-profit organization that champions the rights of children with special health care needs to ensure they receive the appropriate health-related services they require is bringing families to the White House on Thursday, July 7th at 1:30PM to implore officials to preserve vital services provided by Medicaid.  Parents and their children will provide White House officials a unique chance to hear how Medicaid has provided both a vital life line and a means of living with dignity.

 Laura Rodgers, a busy middle-schooler from Indiana will visit Washington D.C. along with her mother to share the importance of Medicaid for her family.  Although both Laura's parents work, their primary health care insurance does not cover the specialized mobility equipment that Laura is reliant on in order to be independent.  Since Laura with diagnosed with Mitochrondrial Myopathy (a form of muscular dystrophy), Medicaid has helped the Rodgers family cover costs for certain things like Laura's motorized scooter.  "Without my scooter, I'd have to wait for someone to push me around in a heavy wheelchair" says Laura.  It would be impossible for Laura to participate in all the activities that help her to be a vibrant member of her neighborhood school and local 4-H club.

 As Federal lawmakers continue budget talks, some have proposed billions in cuts to Medicaid as means to reduce the budget deficit.  The proposed cuts could have devastating consequences for Laura and her family and for over 58 million Americans - including vulnerable children, pregnant women, individuals with disabilities and the elderly that are currently served by Medicaid. 

"There are more than 13.5 million children with special health care needs in the USA.  Without adequate health insurance and a safety net like Medicaid, too many of these youngsters will experience ongoing chronic illness and poor outcomes" said Dr. Sophie Arao-Nguyen, Executive Director of Family Voices.  "Medicaid has provided a means for families to cope with the extraordinary, out-of-pocket costs associated with caring for a child that has special health care needs.  Medicaid is about the well-being of the entire family.  Parents can work, be productive members of the community and can be assured that their children are able to get their basic needs met."

 Family Voices serves as a trusted resource on health care, assisting families with tools to make informed decisions, advocates for improved public and private policies, and supports the development of strong partnerships among professionals and families.


For more information about families using Medicaid please call or contact Wendy Byrnes at wbyrnes@familyvoices.org or call 510-903-2202.