Anthony and Danielle Mendoza
Anthony and Danielle ages 30 and 26, are raising their three kids on the West Side of Denver. Both Danielle and Anthony grew up in the neighborhood and have lived there all their lives. They and their three children (ages 7, 3, and 2) are on Medicaid (the kids are on CHP+). Danielle is a stay-at-home mom and Anthony has a part time job serving lunch at Rishel Middle School. Anthony is not offered insurance at his job and they cannot afford it on the private market.
Why is Medicaid important to you?
"Our three kids all have asthma. Before we had Medicaid, I had to wait until the kids were really sick before I could take them in. It made me sad to see them that miserable. I am on oxygen every night for sleep apnea, which can be fatal if left untreated. And Anthony just had a hernia operation. Anthony was also in a lot of pain before his surgery, and he says he would still be living with that pain every day if he didn't have Medicaid, which allowed us to be able to afford the surgery."
Do you think Medicaid has had an important impact on your neighborhood or community in general?
"Nearly everyone we know has at least one family member who uses Medicaid. The existence of Medicaid helps to keep our community and neighborhood healthier. It's flu season right now and people can go to the doctor if they need to because of Medicaid. It also gives us flu shots, which prevents people from getting sick."
What would happen to you or your family if you lost your Medicaid coverage?
"Without Medicaid, we would have expensive hospital bills that we couldn't afford to pay."