Health care through Medicaid, particularly for Florida’s most vulnerable citizens — children, the elderly and low-income families — is not an abstract. It is a real need, for real people, and without it, can lead to real suffering.
A new video shows how the state’s Medicaid program is keeping one Plant City boy alive. It is not just money for lawmakers to spend arbitrarily; it is care for actual people, often those who need it most.
The video is from the Florida Hospital Association, illustrating just what is at stake when lawmakers proposed drastic cuts in the state’s Medicaid program.
The 90-second clip is one of a series in the FHA’s “Some Cuts Won’t Heal” campaign, which features families and caregivers from across the state who rely on Medicaid to care for loved ones.
Launching statewide Monday, the digital campaign features the story of Lakota Lockhart, a 7-year-old Plant City boy who has received lifesaving services through Medicaid. Lakota was diagnosed with Central Hypoventilation Syndrome, where the boy literally forgets to breathe at night.
In the video, Dr. Daniel Plasencia, medical director of St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital, explains that “almost 90 percent of children” he treats at the clinic are on Medicaid.
Without that secondary Medicaid coverage, Lakota’s mother Krystal says, the family would have faced a tragic situation, with only a minimal 30 days of nursing care; not nearly enough to treat Lakota’s chronic condition.
“Cutting funding to care for sick children, the elderly, and disabled isn’t about numbers — it’s about kids like Lakota,” says the campaign’s website, which points out that Medicaid cuts will lead to a host of problems — reduced access to services, longer emergency room waits and widespread uncompensated care.
In a heartwarming way, “Some Cuts” puts a human face on the consequences of cutbacks in the Medicaid program, leaving Florida children, pregnant women, low-income families, the elderly and the disabled without access to critical health care services.
Lakota’s video, as well as those from other caregivers, patients, families, and advocates, can be seen on cutswontheal.com.