Children's hospitals, parents voice opposition to proposed Medicaid cuts

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Doctors from Chicago's children's hospitals along with parents are joining the fight against proposed health care funding cuts in Trumpcare.

On Monday, the hospital officials, along with parents and two young girls with serious medical issues, came together to voice support for preserving Medicaid.

"More than 30 million children in America receive their healthcare coverage under Medicaid program," said Mike Farrell, of Advocate Children's Hospital.

Children's access to medical care could be diminished under the American Health Care Act, also known as Trumpcare. The proposal calls for more than $800 billion in cuts to Medicaid over 10 years, cuts that these health care providers say would put millions of children at grave risk.

Normally competitors, the hospital came together on Monday to sound the alarm.

"The size of this cut would put at risk the preventative benefits that millions of children rely upon every year," said Dr. Daniel Johnson, Comer Children's Hospital.

"The health conditions that children on Medicaid have are the same health conditions that children on private insurance have," said Dr. Matthew Davis, of Lurie Children's Hospital.

Health experts said children would be disproportionately affected by the loss of Medicaid funding, including 6-year old Layla Molina, who was born with a congenital heart defect.

Ivonne Camarillo, Layla's mother, said Medicaid makes it possible to afford her wheelchair, physical therapy, feeding tubes and other supplies.

"She is the light of our lives in our family and to keep Medicaid is extremely important for us," Camarillo said.

Camarillo and Tangela Watson are among the parents flying to Washington, D.C., on Wednesday to take part in Speak Now For Kids Family Day.

Watson's 6-year-old daughter, Jamela Anthony, was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor last year. Between operations and chemotherapy, she has had more than 100 hospital visits.

"We are going to D.C. to talk to our U.S. senators and Congressman (Danny) Davis to urge them to protect this program for our children," Watson said.

The U.S. Senate is still working on their version of the bill and exact cuts are still not known.
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