Conservatives think it’s common knowledge that people on Medicaid are brown, lazy “takers”. They see any program that they think mostly benefits the poor and automatically believe that it’s a cesspool of corruption, waste, and fraud. Just like SNAP, formerly known as the federal food stamp program, they believe that somehow, some way, “illegals” are accessing benefits that should only be available to regular, God-fearing (White) Americans; that Reagan’s mythical Welfare Queens drive their Cadillacs to the doctor to have another baby on the Medicaid dime whenever they need a bigger check from the government.
Besides the fact that thinking some people don’t “deserve” health care is inhumane, these pervasive beliefs could not be further from the truth. In fact, the Medicaid that Republicans are so eager to cut primarily serves children. Moreover, a large percentage of the children Medicaid serves are those with special needs.
“Medicaid allowed Mason to have an adoptive family for the last two years”
Complex Child is an e-magazine founded in 2008 by Susan Agrawal, the mother of a girl named Karuna who passed from complications relating to the cerebral palsy she was diagnosed with after suffering from oxygen deprivation to the brain at birth. Agrawal has an honorary doctorate from Northwestern University in Chicago and served on the faculty there. Last month, in an effort to expand education about not just who benefits from Medicaid, but specifically the disabilities some of those Medicaid recipients have, Complex Child ran a profile on nine young special needs children who get Medicaid benefits.
Carter, Johnny, Ikaika, Jojo, Mason, Miracle, Emma & Lily, and Aiden definitely do not fit the preconceived notions of conservative voters.
Cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, congenital heart defects, Down Syndrome — these are the ailments that Medicaid addresses in these children. It pays for wheelchairs, feeding tubes, speech therapy, home nursing, hearing aids… All would be inaccessible without the essential help that Medicaid provides. Are these children takers? Are they lazy?
If the lawmakers who seek to de-fund Medicaid were confronted with these cases, how much longer could they call themselves “pro-life” with a clear conscience?