Medicaid Matters for Kids Mondays - Skylar
Speak Now for Kids is celebrating Medicaid’s 53rd birthday with blogs highlighting the importance of Medicaid in children’s access to health care. This week we spoke with Skylar’s mom, Lindsey. Skylar is a Speak Now for Kids Family Advocacy Day alum and current patient at the Arkansas Children’s Hospital.
My daughter, Skylar, was born with a brain abnormality — this has impacted our family in many ways. She requires 24-hour care and assistance for all of her daily activities. She also needs a wheelchair and this heavily restricts where we go and what we do on a daily basis. She has multiple doctor appointments a month, and she still needs medical treatments at home when she’s not at the hospital.
Skylar is on 10-12 medications a day, and also requires respiration treatments, oxygen and feeding tubes, mobility equipment and more. Even though my husband and I have full-time jobs, we still can’t afford the care and equipment that Skylar needs with our private insurance alone.
While we are fortunate to have Arkansas Children’s Hospital to provide care for Skylar, it would still be impossible to give her the care she needs without Medicaid. Medicaid has allowed us to care for Skylar and get the supplies she needs to sustain her life. We would be drowning in medical bills without the help of this program.
Skylar is nonverbal, so I have been her voice for the past 12 years. She has given me the motivation to advocate for her needs and the needs of other children like her. I want to advocate for Medicaid because this program is important to all kids who can’t afford health care, not just for medically complex children. I’m part of multiple advisory boards at Arkansas Children’s Hospital and have also written articles and stories for local news stations to advocate for Medicaid services in our state.
Other parents should join the effort to make children’s health a national priority by reaching out to their state and local government representatives. Your voice matters and you are part of a bigger community that wants kids to receive the health care they need. It’s also so important to participate in groups like Speak Now for Kids and share other kids’ stories on social media to highlight the importance of Medicaid in children’s access to care.
Representing Arkansas Children’s Hospital at the 2018 Speak Now for Kids Family Advocacy Day was a great experience for our family. We shared Skylar’s story with members of Congress and truly felt that our members were engaged with what we had to say. We loved meeting so many families that had similar stories. I felt like we were all connected because we support a common goal — to make children’s health a national priority.