Medically Needy Program on Chopping Block

By: Mike Vasilinda Email
By: Mike Vasilinda Email

Tallahassee, FL - Mary Ellen Ross had a liver and bone marrow transplant in 1999. She was in the capitol to tell the story of the medically needy.

“I don’t want to die,” Ross said.

Kidney recipient German Vivas is in the same dire straits.

“I will not survive,” Vivas said.

200,000 Floridians depend on the Medically Needy program to survive. The program costs the state 671 million dollars a year. It was completely eliminated in the Senate’s budget.

In German’s case, his 18 hundred dollar a month income doesn’t come close to leaving enough to cover the cost of medications to keep him from rejecting his transplanted kidney. He says health shouldn’t be for just the the wealthy.

“Low income people also donate their organs,” he said. “They need to have a right to receive transplanted organs.”

If the program goes away, there’s only one place for people to get care, the emergency room, and the public is still going to pay.

But after spending hundreds of thousands on each transplant, the state is saying it is too poor to take care of the medical investments it has made. Ross says that doesn’t make sense.

“Wouldn’t it be better to keep us in good health, so we wouldn’t have to use the hospital system?” Ross asked.

There is one ray of hope. It is early in the budget process and the Senate President says the medically needy will survive once lawmakers start negotiating.

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  • by ImBroketoo Location: TLH on Apr 10, 2011 at 05:38 PM
    So you want taxpayers to keep you in good health? I'm living on far less per month and am in worse health more than likely. I'm guessing the income reported is some kind of entitlement and not from an employers payroll. Otherwise, some kind of insurance should be available. didnt Obama promise us all that anyway? Its too bad that we down embrace darwinism a bit more during recessions. I know it sounds cruel but If it costa 5K tax payer dollars to keep you kicking and you contribute way less than that into the system, what should we do? Sorry folks, the young are more deserving than the old and sickly nowadays.
  • by Ya Ya Light Location: Tallahassee on Apr 10, 2011 at 06:34 AM
    Response to Mari. There are dozens of programs offered by private companies that will help you with medicines Partnership for prescription assistance, care connection, Pfizer Friends ect. Local doctors also donate their time through organizations like we care. You are blesses to have Blue Cross or any health insurance. If you had agreed to pay extraordinary premiums then you could have purchased a higher degree of insurance. I experienced this when My daughter's medical bills were 570,000 the first 17 days of her life. It took me ten years and a lot of hard work but I paid every single dime owed. IT was my honor and and my responsibility to do so. I did not whine and depend on the state or a government. I asked God for help and he did so by helping me to work 3 jobs for 10 years. I hope your child is ok. Nobody likes to make cuts to any programs. There is only so much tax revenue to spend. Do you have an idea that could balance the budget as required by law. There is no law that says taxpayers have to pay everyones total medical bills. You could move to Canada and get free healthcare. IT is not as good but at least you would not have to whine about a mere 2000 dollars a month. My childs bills averaged over 30,000 dollars per day.
  • by Kevin aka Reality Location: Monticello on Apr 10, 2011 at 03:20 AM
    Again .....instead of saving BILLIONS by eliminating Illegal Aliens as PROMISED. Another Politician would rather kill Low Income Americans , and continue funding those not supposed to be here .....why ? Cheap Labor , and Votes. You wonder why bad things happen or people go beserk? Unless this is stopped ....I truly see "Class Warfare" in the near future. ARM UP.
  • by what??? on Apr 9, 2011 at 10:47 AM
    thank you to anonymous that said not everyone who receives assistance doesn't work. if it weren't for low paying jobs "usorry fools" you wouldn't have anyone to pass your food out of the drive thru window or serve you when you are out to eat? or change the oil in your car, or check you out at the grocery store, or department stores etc etc. these people don't make that much money but they are earning an honest paycheck. you should think before you start passing judgement.
  • by tom Location: madison on Apr 9, 2011 at 10:08 AM
    Good start now cut some more
  • by Olivia Location: Florida on Apr 9, 2011 at 08:40 AM
    We have regressed back before the 1960's when you got a life threatening illness or disease you passed away naturally and went on to be with the Lord. Personally, now that I am a senior citizen, that is the way I wish to go, naturally. When I get to heaven I shall have a brand new body with no more tears, pain and suffering. I have had a wonderful blessed life on earth.
  • by mari Location: Jennings on Apr 9, 2011 at 06:03 AM
    For a man who is so against abortion is now going to commit out right murder !!!! Our daughter had a brain tumor on her brain stem and after the removel a lot had gone wrong. If it was not for the medical needy program we could not have paid for her medicine !!! I was working and good old Blue Cross and Blue Shield did not cover a lot of her bills especially her medication which was close to 2,000 dollars a month. Scott also has cost this state 330,000 jobs. And the cuts that they are giving to the kids that are in foster care is really sad. Rick Scott does not care about people of lesser means. He showed that when he was CEO of the Columbia hospitals. No insurance you died !!!! You do not put a crook in charge of a bank and that is what us Floridians did. !!! And as far as jobs, if you live in a rural area there are none !!! This is know for a fact !!!
  • by Anonymous on Apr 9, 2011 at 04:40 AM
    this is to those who put people down who recieve any assistance. they work too. someone has to fulfull those low paying jobs. so just becuse someone recieves assistance doesnt mean they dont work. to usorryfools. you need to get a life! people do come across hard times that we can not control. and our governor is not the only who has the say. so quit blaming scottt for everything. did you do anything to help out. no yall sit here run your mouths while no one really knows who you are.
  • by usorryfools Location: Florida on Apr 8, 2011 at 09:08 PM
    Let's get to work! Haha...You're all losers. Floridians are selfish...what did you expect?
  • by Anon Location: Tallahassee on Apr 8, 2011 at 08:14 PM
    This is just the beginning of the havoc Scott will wreak on us. He has not stopped to think that it could be one of their family members because they can afford to have great healthcare. Also, his cronies are being paid hundred of thousands of dollars for their positions, when some of that money could be used to keep some of these programs up and running.
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