Debbie is a single mother of four, and she has dedicated her life to taking care of her children, who are now adults. Medicaid has alleviated a lot of worry for Debbie and her family.

Debbie works full time and needs reliable, consistent care for Andrew, her 36-year-old son with autism. Andrew’s autism spectrum includes sensory integration disorder, retained tonic reflex, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. He requires around-the-clock support to help him live safely and well.

Medicaid and Social Security Income help Andrew get the medical care and prescriptions he needs, home health care assistance (when available), as well as behavioral therapy, which includes working with horses and walking trails — activities Andrew thoroughly enjoys.

Yet Debbie still struggles with finding qualified home health care workers, whom she depends on for Andrew’s health and safety. “Without this consistency, he regresses and becomes extremely isolated and dependent, and his chronic anxiety is exacerbated by the continual lack of staff,” Debbie said. “Most importantly, this severely impacts my ability to work and provide for him, as I am often forced to replace absentee staff in order to maintain his progress.”

Debbie is not alone in the battle to protect her family through life saving services from Medicaid. Approximately 30 percent of West Virginians rely on the services of Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). These mountaineers understand and acknowledge the struggles they face daily, but are also grateful for the services provided by the West Virginian social safety net programs.

Thank you to our partners at West Virginians for Affordable Health Care.