Clinton does outreach and enrollment for Medicaid for Cherry Creek Schools in Denver. He is the only person doing this type of work for the approximately 10,000 uninsured children in the district. He enjoys helping people to navigate the system.
Why do you think Medicaid is important?
"Everybody needs health insurance. There was a family that I was working with a couple of weeks ago that had recently moved to the U.S. Their kid's teeth were rotting and the doctor said the oral surgery would cost about $16,000. We were able to get him on Medicaid. The doctor told us later that if the kid had come in a week or two later, he might not have survived."
What would happen to you personally if the funding for Medicaid were cut?
"My job is to get Medicaid reimbursement from the state. So if the cuts were to go through, my job would cease to exist. It would hurt a lot of people, because there are many people who do what I do."
What is the impact of Medicaid on the communities you're working with?
"Because of Medicaid we definitely see more kids at school, because obviously when they are sick, they won't come to school. It also helps with their performance."
What would happen to the communities that you're working with if the funding for Medicaid were cut?
"They would go without insurance. A lot of people also tell me when they're applying for Medicaid that they have to decide whether to take their kid to the doctor or to pay rent or to put food on the table."
What would you say to people who claim that our state can't afford to pay for Medicaid anymore?
"It's very easy to just say that. But when you're in the trenches, you see parents who have disabilities or other problems and it's not like they are lazy or don't want to work. They are trying to work; they just can't find work anywhere. These cuts would hurt an incredible number of people. It would be a disaster, because without Medicaid, some kids might not survive."