Medicaid Is NOT A "Medical Ghetto", Senator Alexander

During Saturday’s debate on the cloture vote, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) said the proposed health care reform bill is:

“arrogant in its dumping of 15 million low-income Americans into a medical ghetto called Medicaid that none of us or any of our families would ever want to be a part of for our health care.”

Here’s the video:

I have Medicaid. It is not a “medical ghetto”. Without Medicaid, I would not be walking or talking today. I would not be typing this sentence. I would not be able to swallow food or get dressed by myself.

Medicaid is a good program. It paid for two more weeks of inpatient rehabilitation at the Spinal Cord Injury Center at Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee, WI, than United HealthCare would have. Those extra two weeks are the reason I’m walking today.

Medicaid paid for as much outpatient physical, occupational and acquatic therapy as I needed when I got home. United HealthCare would have only paid for twenty sessions each per year. Without Medicaid, I would not have been able to go to physical therapy 2-3 times a week for eleven months, occupational therapy 2 times a week for six months and aquatic therapy once a week for five months.

Medicaid has paid for all of my doctors’ appointments. I have been able to see all of the specialists I needed, no questions asked.

Medicaid has kept me alive and put me back on the road to recovery. It is not a “medical ghetto”. It is a vitally important (and yes, imperfect) safety net for millions of Americans.

Senator Alexander, you would be lucky to have Medicaid.