A single father with serious health problems loses his Medicaid when his daughter turns 18. He loses his ability to work because he must quarantine to save his life. Florida’s limited Medicaid program means he’s unable to see doctors, get life-saving medications or surgery. Where can he turn in the time of COVID-19?
Poole needs prescriptions for life-saving medications, including insulin and high blood pressure pills. He also needs regular check ups from a cardiologist and will need heart surgery to replace his deteriorating heart valve within a few years.
Poole’s options are limited to public health clinics that receive federal funds to see uninsured patients, but there are significant co-pays for medications and visits. With COVID-19, public clinics and publicly funded hospitals are now overwhelmed and underfunded, making matters worse for desperate patients.
“It seems nobody in the State of Florida cares if you can’t see a doctor,” he says.
His daughter says she’ll pay for her father’s medications once her unemployment check comes in, though the state’s malfunctioning system has yet to approve her claim. She could return to work at the donut shop soon, though that carries a risk if she contracts the virus and brings it home to her father.
“It looks very bleak now,” Poole says. “But my truth is I have to keep trying. For my daughter.”
The Florida Health Justice Project, a nonprofit organization, recognizes that access to quality and affordable health care is a human right and engages in comprehensive advocacy to expand health care access and promote health equity for vulnerable Floridians.
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