Sen. Smith holds forum on possible Medicaid cuts

Parents with children who depend on Medicaid spoke with Senator Tina Smith in a town hall meeting Saturday afternoon. 

“Without Medicaid I don’t know how our family would survive,” a concerned parent said. 

One out of five Minnesotans receive medical assistance. Many seniors, people with disabilities, children and low-income families depend on Medicaid to live and for some, any cuts to benefits could be devastating. 

“I’ve learned that it’s really difficult to find help for your loved ones with mental illness,” another parent said. 

The parents told their stories days after President Trump unveiled his 2019 budget proposal, which calls for cutting billions of dollars from Medicaid among other things. 

“Our sons, Taylor and Marshall, and my brother Brian have intellectual disabilities and rely on Medicaid every day,” said a worried mother during the town hall meeting. 

Many of the families fear a reduction in government spending could leave them without health insurance. 

“When someone comes and wants to talk to me about how we need to put caps on Medicaid programs because we’re spending too much, I would say there’s no amount of money that I would want to hold back,” Sen. Smith said. 

Sen. Smith says the President’s attempt to repeal Obama Care and impose new requirements, some of which will require some recipients to work to receive benefits, isn’t in line with Medicaid’s core value which is to help those in need. 

Sen. Smith says she’ll take their worries and the concerns of thousands of Minnesotans back to D.C. where a battle to save Medicaid could eventually unfold. 

“What we do ask is that Medicaid is protected for those who need it most,” a parent said. 

The annual budget proposal reflects the president’s priorities, but Congress will eventually have the final say over spending.