As a mother yourself, I know you share the conviction that we’ll do anything in the world for our children. There is no love stronger than that of a mother’s love for her kids.
That’s why I am writing to you today about my son, JJ. He’s severely disabled and is unable to walk, talk, or even feed himself without assistance. For nearly 15 years, JJ has been on the Medicaid waitlist for home and community-based care services. Because he has not yet moved off this waitlist, I serve as JJ’s full-time caregiver. Unfortunately, my ability to continue taking care of JJ is limited, given my current health challenges. As his full-time caregiver, I do not qualify for Florida’s Medicaid program for health insurance. This has left my medical issues untreated, and I fear that the time may soon come where I am unable to give JJ the care he desperately needs — and deserves.
Without access to these programs, I am counting on you and your colleagues to ensure that families like mine will not be left without help and without hope. I fall in to the coverage gap because my income is too high to qualify for Medicaid, but private options are way outside of my budget given my family’s circumstances. Tragically, because I can’t get treatment for my back and hip issues JJ may eventually be forced out of a loving home and end up in a state run facility. I cannot bear to even think about being separated from my child. He needs me every day.
As a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, you have a unique role in being a voice for people like me. I urge you to speak up for mothers and families like me who need lawmakers’ help now more than ever. The American Rescue Plan Act that was signed into law earlier this year included expanded insurance subsidies that make plans on the federal marketplace affordable. As you and your colleagues continue to debate the budget and reconciliation packages, I am pleading with you to ensure that these crucial subsidies are made permanent so millions of Americans like me have access to affordable insurance.
I would do anything for my child, just like any other mother. I am asking you to do everything in your power to make sure that every Floridian has access to the care they need. We need our voices heard. We need compassion and action — and we need it now.
Thank you for your service in Congress and to the people of Florida.