If you only read one article today, let this one be it. I hear stories like this all the time. And, it saddens me to think that this is the country we live in: the wealthiest nation on Earth, yet we have so many shortcomings when it comes to basic humanity.
This is why I’m running for Congress.
A friend of mine—and I’m calling him Bob to protect his identity—told me his #kitchenTableStory about his granddaughter Susan. Susan is four years old, cute as a button and the love of his life.
She has autism and asthma. Susan and her mom are both on Medicaid to cover the medical expenses from the autism and severe asthma. Were it not for Medicaid, the family would not be able to get the medical attention Susan needs almost on a daily basis.
Susan’s mom, Jennifer, works as a bartender and waitress, but only part-time because they do not qualify and can’t afford the special needs childcare that Susan would have to have.
Money is tight. Very tight. So, the mom and daughter live with my friend Bob. It keeps a roof over their heads and food on the kitchen table.
However, a few months ago, the family found out that Susan qualifies for Social Security Supplemental Income. After going through the mounds of paperwork and delays, Jennifer got the first check.
They opened a bank account to help pay for Susan’s future medical and educational needs. And, then it happened.
Jennifer was responsible. She didn’t blow the SSI. She saved knowing that Susan would need it a little at a time. Jennifer received a letter from Medicaid notifying her that her daughter no longer qualifies for Medicaid and that it would be canceled within a week.
All of this because of an SSI payment.
Friends—this is one of many stories told around kitchen tables across my district and beyond. We need to fix this. Can you imagine the stress Jennifer feels? How would you feel if this were your daughter? Your son? Your grandchild?
My campaign is not about ‘pie-in-the-sky’ dreams. It’s about real people who deserve better from their government. It’s about real issues that face each and every one of us. It’s about how we must live paycheck to paycheck—hoping and praying nothing breaks or needs to be replaced because we don’t have the money to fix a leak.
It's about a Medicare/Medicaid system so eat up with bureaucratic ineptitude that we take money from a four-year-old and deny her and her family the healthcare they need.
This is why we fight. Because there are more Susan’s, Jennifer’s, and Bob’s than we care to admit.
And, this is why we must win.
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