Medicaid is a Disability Rights Issue

     Nearly once a week a conservative “friend” of mine writes something along the lines of “Yeah–cut back on Medicaid! No one should be living off the system.” I usually hide these from my newsfeed because I feel my blood boil. I am on Medicaid. About a quarter of my friends are on Medicaid. We all have one thing in common: we are disabled and require personal care attendants (PCAs) for daily life.      I am amongst the more independent (at least physically) of my friends; I only need a PCA for an hour a day. Many of my friends require 24-hour assistance. If they cannot feed themselves or use the bathroom by themselves, having a PCA is not an option; it is a necessity. For me, having a PCA costs $35 a day, but for many it is exponentially more.  The heartbreaking reality is that some of them do not qualify for Medicaid, yet they still cannot afford 24-hour care. This forces them to stay home with parents who are aging. I have friends who are well into their twenties, and have still never been away from home. This is not a choice, but their only option.  They cannot move away from home because they cannot care for themselves, and cannot afford a PCA.

    It infuriates me to hear conservatives ramble about laziness and how the “working men should be able to spend their money how they choose” when so many Americans cannot work because they do not even have the money just to take care of themselves.  They cannot show up for a job if they cannot shower or dress. I wish conservatives understood what Medicaid does for the disabled. Medicaid is the difference between independence and a life spent at home. 

     Since many disabled Americans are forced to stay home, they have no opportunity to better their lives. It is a vicious cycle for so many people. It is what is keeping able-bodies and the disabled segregated. Disabled people have so few opportunities as it is with inaccessibility. When lack of care is thrown into the mix, our opportunities dwindle.

     Next time I hear a conservative knock Medicaid, I hope I have the courage and eloquence to speak about disability rights. I hope I can help my conservative friends understand how much it actually costs to be disabled in this country and how that hinders so many disabled people. I hope I can help them understand that we need Medicaid just to survive and that we are not lazy or leeches sucking up their money; we were born (or acquired) a disability that automatically puts us behind.


  1. we so need voices as eloquent and measured as yours speaking out about disability rights. activists matter. they change things. please know your words are wonderfully written and much needed.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Melissa Fields, Autist and commented:
    Yes, this!!!
    Mitch McConnell and all his fellow Republican cronies need to read this and look at the pictures of these people……me and my disabled friends are real human beings.

    We too live in America, which is supposed to be The Land Of The Free.

    We have the same right to Life, Liberty, and The Pursuit of Happiness as all of those who want to decimate us by taking the only service we have that allows us to be able to live independently and be a part of the communities we live in.

    Just because we cannot work, does not mean we should have to suffer and die.

    We WILL suffer and we WILL die if Medicaid is taken from us.

    To Mitch and Co. when you read this, i hope this helps you all to find your heart.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A lot of people honestly know nothing about the concept of being disabled, neither did I; even when it was explained by a dear relative until I became disabled. Has anyone thought of being guests on local & network/cable TV with hosts who are more inclined to have an empathetic viewing audience? As guests on TV, we would show another side of being disabled means, newscasters aren’t doing the job, what they tend to show are demonstrators only; is anyone going to colleges to show what being disabled means to live not being able to do everyday things they take for granted.
    Am also betting that all of 13 white men [all over 50], are Christian; where in the Bible does it justify cutting off medical care, on the other hand, it teaches people to be kind & thoughtful?

    Liked by 1 person

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