Saturday, March 18, 2006

Gov. Perdue Abandons 6000 Georgia Families

What was Governor Perdue thinking when he ordered changes that placed 6000 Georgia families at risk of losing access to critical medical care for their severely disabled children? Was he thinking at all when he outsourced the review of these cases to a private company, a company that until recently had but one retired physician (with no pediatric experience) on staff? Perhaps he hoped that no one would notice.

Here's the short version. About 6000 Georgia families who have severely disabled children have assets that exceed the ceiling that would allow them to qualify for Medicaid or for PeachCare. These families face enormous medical expenses, and they have opted to keep their children at home, out of institutional care.

Thanks to Governor Perdue, all of these families face uncertainty and approximately 1600 of them face likely exclusion from the one program in Georgia, The Katie Beckett Waiver Program, that offers access to the healthcare for their children. Experts estimate that forty-sixty percent of these families have no other health insurance. All of these families face medical expenses beyond what most of us can imagine.

At the Capitol, there is a medical station steps away from the Governor's office. He, and our other state elected officials, have direct, immediate and easy access to healthcare. It appears that what is good for state officials doesn't apply to Georgia's most vulnerable citizens. Depriving severely disabled children of medical care is not a family value I care to adopt.

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