WSET TV in Lynchburg recently featured the heart-wrenching story of Randy Harlow, a 68-year-old man trying to find suitable care and accommodations for his 90-year-old mother.
“Mom is totally dependent at this point for everything, her clothing her bathing her eating,” says Harlow.
Harlow’s mother depends on Medicare, and her condition has made it extremely difficult for Harlow to find affordable options to meet her special needs.
“We know there are tons of gaps were are seeing, or cracks in the system and a lot of people are falling through that,” says Denise Scruggs, the director of the Beard Center on Aging at the University of Lynchburg. “We’re seeing either you have the money to pay or you have nothing, or most of us, which I think is going to be the bulk of us, are going to be right in between where we don’t make enough to provide the care that I need or that our loved one needs, but we don’t qualify in either way to be able to handle that,” says Scruggs.
When WSET asked local members of Congress for their reactions to the report, Congressman Cline responded:
“When we have limited dollars being spread to able-bodied working adults like Medicaid expansion it’s a problem so we do need to reform health care, the Republicans do have a plan that we are unveiling through the republican study committee.”
What is Cline trying to say? That Medicaid expansion– by making it possible for hundreds of thousands of low-income working Virginians without health insurance to finally obtain it– is the reason that people like Randy Harlow struggle to find decent care for elderly parents?
As for the Republican plan, it has already been released and is basically a repackaged version of the GOP’s 2017 health care bill to replace the Affordable Care Act which Congress failed to pass– a bill which would have reduced the number of insured by 24 million.