Medicaid Fund Cuts Might Affect Transportation For Those Who Need It

Maddie Holt from Everett Washington is a 5-year-old with severe disabilities. She can barely hear or see, and she certainly can’t walk or talk, reports Maine Public. Unfortunately for her, her parents face their own vision impairments and financial hardships that make it almost impossible to get Maddie to and from her doctor appointments. Medicaid had been their game-changer, allowing Maddie access to her doctors appointments with no cost. Yet, now, that might have to change.
Maddie suffers from Zellweger syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that is often fatal. To learn more about Zellweger syndrome, click here.

Ever since Maddie was born, her parents Brandon and Meagan Holt expressed that the medical costs depleted them financially, and they could never fully recover. Maddie has to go to Seattle’s Children’s hospital for continued treatment, as her disease has nearly made her blind and deaf, causing her life-threatening seizures and liver complications.

More recently, they learned the care she was provided through Medicaid might be changing. Republicans agreed to cut funding and get rid of services they don’t see as “worthy”– and one of these services is transportation.

Medicaid is huge. Right now, it provides healthcare to about 74 million Americans. It has been proven, according to a survey in 2014, that transportation to treat a patient’s medical needs is the third biggest barrier for adults. 12.2% of these patients couldn’t get rides to the doctors office.

For families with disabilities and financial struggle, transportation is the problem and the reason many aren’t treated for their medical needs. Many patients don’t have cars, and public transportation isn’t available in close enough proximity for someone in a wheelchair, or what’s available is too expensive. A cab ride with wheelchair access would cost nearly $35 each way for Fallon Kunz, a 29-year-old with cerebral palsy.

Last September more than 1,300 clients made 3,600+ trips to and from the doctor’s office. Yes, it is expensive to provide, but it is NEEDED. This should be revisited since even adults with disabilities can’t always get to the care they need– let alone little girls who are only 5-years-old, with little support. It’s time to look at the facts and not push anyone away from being helped.

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