Umair Haque / Bubblegeneration
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Saturday, November 13, 2004

Politics of the Day

A worthy issue via Atrios. Alabama's Medicaid chief wants to cut healthcare to a girl who needs it:

"...13-year-old Lauren Rainey is full of life. She's smart, outgoing, and always smiling. Her nurse describes her as a drama queen. At school she is the class clown.

"She's a happy child," her mother, Laura, tells NBC 15 News. Her size is more like that of a 3 year old. But that's the least of her medical concerns.

"She's got the trache, she's deaf, she's got asthma, got an enlarged heart, all types of bone problems, scoliosis," said her mother.

To help her breathe, Lauren is hooked up to an oxygen machine and a humidifing mist machine. Lauren's doctor said her airway is restricted to the size of the end of an ink pen.

"That's why she is constantly suctioned. She is always getting plugged up," added Laura. Lauren's airway is suctioned several times an hour to prevent her from suffocating.

Due to her medical condition, Lauren requires 24-hour a day supervision. Medicaid currently provides her a trained nurse for 10 hours a day. But a recent letter from Alabama Medicaid says a decision has been made to eliminate Lauren's care.

..."It's just sad. It's sad that our government can, you know... it's like throwing kids away." said Carolyn Yates, Lauren's 10-hour-a-day nurse. And it's because of the rules in the State of Alabama, this young girl will possibly be denied the care her doctors say is necessary for her to just live and breathe. Lauren's family has appealed Medicaid's decision. Meanwhile, Medicaid will continue to maintain Lauren's care through the appeals process."

Contact info:

Medicare Managed Care Division of Medicare OperationsCustomer Service Line 404-562-7360

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
Region IV
Atlanta Federal Center
61 Forsyth Street, S.W., Suite 4T20
Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8909

Phone: (404) 562-7500

-- umair // 5:33 PM // 0 comments


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