Wednesday October 23, 2002 5:58pm
Reporter: Nicole Burgin
It may just seem like numbers at first, but behind all the statewide budget cuts are real people. The state'e health care system is in crisis. Recent changes put a tremendous burden on thousands of Green Country families and there isn't enough money this year to fund what the state did last year.
Multiple sclerosis has left Cheree Millspaugh with no feeling below the waist. "I can't get up and walk, can't cook, can't do anything for myself," she says. "Can't even get ice for my glass."
She relies on her family. Her 75-year-old mother is home during the day. Several times a week, an aide comes in to help, too.
But now, the family's sacrifice is going deeper. Altogether, Cheree has 11 different prescriptions. The total cost is about 33-hundred dollars per month. Medicaid paid for them in September, but in October, Medicaid would only pay for five of those prescriptions.
"One I need, but can't afford anymore. It prevents spasms," Cheree said.
Besides MS, Cheree is also bi-polar and prone to depression. But, her mental and physical health is not something she can control.
"You feel like you are worthless when you are sitting in the bed and can't do anything, so that's how I feel," she says.
It's likely she will have to drop some of her medication for depression at the end of this month. It's important, but rent and bills are, too.
"Right now, we are behind on our electric bill and we are only behind because we are trying to figure out which medications to let go of."
Cheree didn't know where to go for help, so she called us. We discovered
one place that can help her and other families. The Senior Information
Line at 1-800-211-2116 can put you in touch with different pharmaceutical
companies that offer free or reduced medication.
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