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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Luzerne County- Wilkes Barre Times Leader letter to editor

LUZERNE County, PA- My husband and I have a 4-year-old daughter named Mia. 

She is our only child.

Last summer, Mia was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. She is considered Level 2, meaning she requires substantial support in school.

Mia receives speech therapy and occupational therapy at school and gets additional speech therapy at a rehabilitation facility once a week. She also has a therapeutic support service worker who helps her stay on task in her regular classroom.

None of these services would be possible without Medicaid. Medicaid not only reimburses schools that provide eligible students with health care services in the classroom, the program also helps pay for support services that private insurance won’t cover, such as our daughter’s additional speech therapy every week.

Mia has made remarkable progress thanks to the services she receives

We want to do everything we can to help Mia continue to make progress and thrive. We know she is smart, and we believe she will do amazing things in life. But we can’t get her where she needs to be alone. We can’t help her reach her full potential without the services she receives that are paid for by Medicaid.

The cuts and caps to Medicaid being proposed by House and Senate Republicans, including U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, R-Hazleton, and U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Zionsville, will be devastating to children with disabilities like Mia.

If our elected officials really want disabled children to have quality of life, then cuts to Medicaid are not acceptable.

Rebecca Zukauskas  Luzerne County

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