Disability Cuts Anger Medicaid Patients

By: Whitney Ray Email
By: Whitney Ray Email

Tallahassee, FL - Yliana Eberts pulled her disabled daughter, Carmon, out of a group home after she discovered scrapes and bruises all over her body.

Yliana applied for a Medicaid waiver and now her daughter lives on her own. Medicaid pays for caregivers to watch Carmon, but last week Governor Rick Scott cut funds that pay for her care.

“I don’t have any options because I cannot care for her. That is why she is where she is,” said Yliana.

The 15 percent cut is affecting thousands of Floridians with disabilities.

Wednesday, hundreds rallied at the state capitol to tell Scott to restore the funds. Some of them, like Philip Wojtas, who will lose his rides to therapy because of the cuts, needed help sharing their stories.

Interpreter: Do you want to live in an institution?
Philip: No
Interpreter: No, you don’t want to live in an institution, you would rather live in your apartment, right?”
Philip: Yes

The crowd invited the Governor to the rally to explain his cuts, but he was no where to be found. Scott had a meeting in Palm Beach and left minutes before the rally began, but Tuesday he told reporters spending at the Agency for Persons with Disabilities was out of control.

“That agency has not lived within its budget as far as I can tell it never did and so everybody just kicked the can and never really held them accountable,” said Scott.

Scott says the decisions he makes won’t earn him a lot of friends. This crowd is proof positive the governor’s right. But the governor is making friends with the Tea Party and business groups, and even though a poll released today shows Scott’s approval ratings low, political experts say if he’s able to turn the economy around… voters will change their tune.

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