Letters to the Editor

Grace Stroud: Help caregivers by expanding Medicaid

Although I was unable to attend the most recent rally for Medicaid expansion, as a mental health provider who works mostly with poor children, I typically try to attend these rallies because many of the caregivers (grandmothers, aunts, uncles, etc.), who provide the sole care for these children do not qualify for Medicaid. To clarify, they fall between the cracks because they, too, are poor and cannot afford health insurance. Many of these caregivers have obvious medical issues, and some have their own mental health problems.

Although I am not a medical professional, when I see individuals with edema, breathing problems, obesity and other medically related issues, I am concerned they might experience a traumatic event of their own and be unable to provide care for the child. Then what? The child will end up in “the system,” which will likely be more costly than basic care for the caretaker.

It seems like common sense to prevent expensive emergency room visits and/or extensive care if people become ill. I am appealing to those who have the power to reconsider Medicaid expansion. Please, let’s make access to ongoing health care possible for all our residents.

Grace Stroud