I’m a postgraduate and, unfortunately, because I am a person with a disability, I rely on Medicaid for home care and other medical necessities that enable me to live independently.
Currently I use the services of a third party firm to help me get dressed and ready in the morning, get me into my wheelchair, prep my meals and other essential services and the reverse process in the evenings to get me cleaned up and into bed.
For the past five years I have used various local service providers. I realize these companies worry about their bottom line, but constant state cuts to Medicaid are making it nearly impossible for them to keep quality employees. It is almost like these firms have a revolving door. Sometimes the help doesn’t arrive on time; sometimes they don’t come at all. This leaves people like me stuck in bed, or in a wheelchair.
When the disabled community talks to legislators about difficulties experienced as a result of Iowa’s decision to privatize Medicaid, we are consistently told to “wait and see” what the changes will mean for us. We understand our local delegation can only do so much.
As more of our population ages this issue will become more important. But for me, its now or never.
The disability community is willing to work with local providers to give input to improve quality of local care, but we need more cooperation and interaction on an even level in Des Moines to solve this crisis.