The Capitol in Washington is seen early Thursday, July 13, 2017, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky. prepares to roll out the GOP's revised health care bill, pushing toward a showdown vote next week with opposition within the Republican ranks.

Credit: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Parents Lobby Legislators to Preserve Medicaid

July 13, 2017

As the Senate prepares to reveal its revised proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act on Thursday, lobbyists and advocacy groups spent the week in Washington competing for the ears of legislators.

Assessments from the Congressional Budget Office estimate that nearly 22 million people would lose health care coverage if the Senate's original version of the legislation were signed into law. A major point of contention is the proposed reduction in Medicaid spending -- some projections predict the public program for low-income families would lose billions over the next decade.

Will and Alicia Ethridge were among a group of parents and medical professionals meeting with senators in Washington on Wednesday and Thursday. As part of Family Advocacy Day, an event organized by children’s hospitals across the country, the couple from Maine wanted to explain how important Medicaid is in their lives.

Their son Wesley needed five heart surgeries, including a transplant performed at Boston Children’s Hospital that saved his life. Without Medicaid coverage, his parents estimate the procedures would have cost millions -- and potentially Wesley’s life. The family is now transitioning away from the taxpayer-funded program, but they argue it is necessary to protect so that it's available to families in times of crisis.

To hear the full interview, listen to the audio clip above.

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