Man with Muscular Dystrophy Fights to Keep Medicaid Benefits

A man from Clinton Township, Michigan is fighting to keep his Medicaid benefits. Chris Meadows, who has muscular dystrophy, has lost all movement in his legs and makes it through the day with limited arm movement, The Detroit News reports.

While Meadows has faced significant challenges in his life, he still graduated from high school and earned his degree from Michigan State University. Now, he has a full-time job with the Social Security Administration and lives in his own, modified home with his dog.

But recent cuts to the health care budget threaten Meadows’ Medicaid benefits, which may force him to move out of his home.

He was also informed earlier in the year by the local Community Mental Health agency that his “needs” changed, and he would need to find another place to live.

“I want to look someone in the eye and have them tell me why I can’t live on my own,” said Meadows. “I’m not looking for a crutch. And I sure don’t want sympathy. I just want to be treated like everyone else.”

A face-to-face hearing has been scheduled for July 18 in front of an administrative law judge for his request to maintain his Medicaid benefits. If Meadows’ appeal is rejected, he has few options available.

“I can stay where I am and get a Life Alert program, like those ‘I’ve fallen and can’t get up’ commercials,” he told Detroit News. “If I am in need of help, I can call for paramedics or the fire department. If it’s not a matter of life or injury, I will be responsible to pay for their response.”

That would mean that Meadows would have to contact the fire department or paramedics if he needs to be repositioned in bed at night or his wheelchair gets stuck.

His only other option is to relocate to a skilled care nursing facility.

Meadows says he is faced with having to lose everything he has worked for.

“I don’t need skilled care workers. My mind still works. I’m not confined to a bed. I just need a little help,” he said.

Currently, Meadows has home care workers in his home 24 hours a day who help him get dressed, get him out of bed and cook his meals.

John Kinch, executive director of the Community Mental Health agency, said the situation may get worse if Congress fails to pass an overhaul of the Affordable Care Act.