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Medicaid’s future drives Colorado MS patient to Mike Coffman’s office

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It’s not the protest you’re used to seeing at congressional member’s office, but Elizabeth Colatrella of Commerce City delivered a personal message about Medicaid outside Rep. Mike Coffman’s office Thursday.

“I am here to fight for to keep Medicaid, because I rely on it not just for medicines and doctors’ visits, but for home care or maids to come four times a day to get dressed, showered, fed and (inaudible) are all paid for by my Medicaid so if we don’t have that what are we going to do?” said the 52-year-old who was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1999.

House Republicans’ American Health Care Act is expected to roll back President Obama’s expansion of Medicaid in the Affordable Care Act. Republicans are looking to reduce costs, and that has recipients such as Colatrella worried.

Her video was an effort of SEIU Local 105, a labor union, in Denver.

Colatrella said she has depended on a home-care worker since 2005. At first the worker visited twice a week, now a worker comes four times a day for each meal and bedtime.

“They help me shower and get dressed, brush my teeth, make sure my laundry is clean, they take my garbage out, check my mail, fill out forms, grocery shopping, accompany me to the doctors, prepare food and feed me, and make sure my medication is ready and that I take them correctly,” Colotrella said. “No matter how much I want to, I can’t go a day without them.  I need them.

“My caregivers deserve the best. One of them takes three buses just to take care of me. They get paid too little to help care for me. Sometimes they even stay after their shift to make sure that I have everything I need.  I’m here because they should be given the ability to advocate for themselves and for me.”

She concluded, “I’m here to fight for them, because they fight for me.”

Coffman’s office said Colatrella has not made a request to them for any help.

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