In The Politics of Autism, I discuss health care issues and state Medicaid services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
The assembled dads each had letters about the importance of Medicaid for their own children.
One of the dads, John Shouse, had this to say:
Senator Alexander, Senator Corker, we gather here today as fathers, with Father’s Day mere hours away, to share with you our concerns with the course of action currently being set in Washington. We are fathers of children with disabilities. We are imploring you to vote to save Medicaid, and the other 'lifeline programs' that are currently facing unprecedented funding cuts. This is a course that, left unchecked, WILL have dire negative consequences for our sons and daughters.
An autistic person writes The Daily Gazette in Schenectady, New York:Whether they are young children, or adults trying to find their way in the world now that their school years are over, our sons and daughters face tremendous challenges because of disability. Challenges that most people … even fathers such as yourselves … can hardly imagine.Shouse spoke of his own experience, having a son with autism who benefits from Medicaid-funded programs.
I am 33 years old and I have Aspergers Autism, executive function disorder and I suffer from depression and anxiety.
I’m disabled on Social Security and Medicaid at the moment, I live alone but I get help with transportation and daily chores through an non-for profit called Wildwood.
For most of my adult life, I’ve been unemployed and very depressed. However, in recent years because of therapy, support from wildwood, and my medication I’ve begun to turn my life around. I’m going back to school to earn a culinary degree, I have part-time employment at a local business and am I much happier, healthier person.
Someday I want to get off disability, pay taxes, own a home and run a small business.
However, without my medication and support at moment I can’t do this. These past few years have been the best of my adult life. I can see my goals getting closer and closer to fruition. But if the Trump health care bill goes through, none of this will happen. I will sink back into depression and in action. I need Medicaid and I need the support right now or I will stay in the system forever.