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Pa. mothers whose children rely on Medicaid keep up the pressure

Congressional Republicans’ plans to repeal and replace — or even just repeal — Obamacare may be on hold for now, but four Pennsylvania mothers of chronically ill and seriously disabled children said Tuesday they can’t afford to let up on their efforts to preserve the public program that pays for their children’s care.

As guests of the Pennsylvania Health Access Network (PHAN), a statewide health consumer advocacy group, the women spoke out about what cuts to Medicaid – a part of virtually all the GOP’s proposals – would do to working families like theirs. Although Medicaid is most often thought of as a health-care provider for the poor, it also funds care for people with severe conditions that would not be fully covered by private insurance.

For Marlee Stefanelli, 39, of South Abington, Medicaid helps pay for 5-year-old son Matthew’s 24-hour blood-sugar monitoring device, which makes it possible for the boy to go to school. The special device monitors Matthew, who has Type 1 diabetes, and sets off an alarm that lets teachers know if his blood sugar levels become unstable.


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