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Quadriplegic mom fears for future under GOP health care plan

Because of Medicaid, quadriplegic Michelle Fridley lives on her own and is able to raise her daughter — but the single mom fears for her future under the GOP’s proposed health care plan.

Fridley’s one of the 6 million New Yorkers who rely on Medicaid to get the health care and services they need — but funding for the federal program could be greatly reduced under the new American Health Care Act put forth by President Trump and House Republicans.

“I’m able to be free because of the support and services Medicaid has given me,” Fridley said Thursday on a conference call organized by health care providers across the state who have launched a #BecauseofMedicaid social media campaign.

“Without it, I will likely end up in a nursing home or a facility somewhere — and who is going to pay for that? And my daughter could wind up in foster care,” said Fridley, who was paralyzed in a car accident several years ago while heavily pregnant with her daughter.

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“Has it come to that? Are we ripping families apart so the wealthy can have tax breaks?”

The proposed ACHA plan released by Trump and the GOP earlier this week would roll back Medicaid coverage for very low income households — and proposes massive Medicaid funding cuts that would reduce available financing for nursing home care in the years ahead, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

Nationally, the plan would slash Medicaid spending by 25%, the CBO found.

That could be a disaster for Medicaid users everywhere and particularly in New York, said Helen Schaub, a vice president with 1199 SEIU, which represents health care workers.

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“Many (of the 6 million New Yorkers) who depend on Medicaid are hard-working adults who don’t make enough to pay for health care and whose employers don’t provide health care,” she said.

Fridley’s one of the six million New Yorkers who rely on Medicaid and worry about President Trump's health care cuts.

Fridley’s one of the six million New Yorkers who rely on Medicaid and worry about President Trump’s health care cuts.

(Pool/Getty Images)

The proposed cuts would have a huge impact on workers — and their families, she said.

Bridget Walsh, from the Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy, said her group was most worried about children affected by Trump’s AHCA plan.

Under former President Obama’s health care plan, the number of children insured nationally rose to 95% — an all-time high — and in New York the number is 98%, she said.

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Children make up 37% of Medicaid enrollees in the state and the federal program covers all children in foster care and many kids with special needs or disabilities, Walsh said.

Fridley tweeted Rep. Chris Collins (pictured), “#BecauseOfMedicaid I can live my life to the fullest!”

Fridley tweeted Rep. Chris Collins (pictured), “#BecauseOfMedicaid I can live my life to the fullest!”

(J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

“It could have a devastating impact on children and on our state budget,” she said.

Fridley didn’t waste any time getting started with her #BecauseofMedicaid social media campaign.

Moments after announcing its launch, she tweeted her upstate Republican Congressman, Chris Collins.

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“#BecauseOfMedicaid I can live my life to the fullest!” she wrote. “…Don’t put me in a nursing home!”

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