Before Lidia became so ill, she used to clean houses and take care of frail and disabled seniors.
But for the last three years, she has been living in constant pain and has had to stop working due to her health issues.
Lidia Franqui is a 55-year-old grandmother who suffers from a multitude of illnesses, including fibromyalgia, COPD, and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Before she became so ill, she used to clean houses and take care of frail and disabled seniors. But for the last three years, she has been living in constant pain and has had to stop working due to her health issues.
“Who’s gonna hire me like this?” she laments, “I function for twenty, thirty minutes then I’m done.”
Lidia had Medicaid while she took care of her granddaughter, during which time she was able to see the specialists who properly diagnosed her for the first time. However, when her granddaughter moved out, she lost her Medicaid. Her initial application for Medicaid based on disability was denied; “They told me that I would have to be dying in order to get Medicaid,” she exclaims.
She feels fortunate enough to be part of the FIU NeighborhoodHELP program for her primary care needs, but Lidia’s health care needs go far beyond primary care. She needs specialty care from a rheumatologist and coverage for more effective medications for her rheumatoid arthritis.
“I need to change my medication because it’s not working. And I can’t do my house chores; I can’t cook like I used to.” Lidia takes a deep breath and continues, “I can’t live like this, in constant pain.” Without adequate, appropriate treatment she is becoming ever more disabled. She is trying to take care of herself and would love to go back to work if she could. Because Florida has chosen to reject Medicaid expansion, she has no path to affordable health coverage.