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.
Although she receives free 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.