Kathy, 58, is the mother of three grown children and is presently raising her 16-year-old granddaughter, Raynesha. They live in public housing and are both on Medicaid and Social Security. Kathy has been employed full-time all of her adult life, but now has severe arthritis and is unable to work. However, she still enjoys being active: She serves as the vice president of her public housing resident council, volunteers at a food bank every week, and participates in a Bible study group at her church.
How has Medicaid benefitted you and your family?
"Right now I don't have to choose between buying medicine and buying food. I can buy food and not worry about medical bills. I'm already just barely paying my bills. But if I lost Medicaid, I would have to choose between paying a bill and buying medicine, or paying a bill and going to the hospital. So I pray that people understand that we need it; the people that are low-income, elderly and disabled."
What would happen to you or your family if you lost your Medicaid coverage?
"We would suffer. We wouldn't be able to go to the doctor or hospital as much and we wouldn't be able to afford our medication. My granddaughter takes medications that is very expensive, so that would really hurt me. I have to take a blood medication and I have to take an iron medication, so if we lost our Medicaid coverage, I might become sick or probably even die."
What would you say to people who claim that our state can't afford to pay for Medicaid anymore?
"Before I was disabled, I worked six days a week at a job that I have slaved on. I feel like I should be entitled. I paid taxes and I paid Social Security then. I worked 42 years before I became disabled. So what are you trying to tell me? I can't get anything? I don't deserve anything? I didn't do drugs to get like this. The way I look at it, every person in American that is in need should have it."