A boy who can’t speak depends on Medicaid. What happens to him if it’s cut?

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A boy who can’t speak depends on Medicaid. What happens to him if it’s cut?

When Kim and Rich Rankin decided to adopt, they figured they would bring home an older child. They were almost finished raising seven children, and thought they were done with babies.

Then they saw a photo of “Baby S,” with his soft eyes and round cheeks. Rich suggested putting it on the fridge.

“We’re going to bring that baby home if we put his picture on the refrigerator,” Kim recalled saying.

That was what they did with the picture, and that was what they did with the baby. They called him Nathaniel — God’s gift.

Adopting Nathaniel also meant taking on his host of medical issues. Most seriously, he was born with extra tissue in his already abnormally narrow airway. He needed a tracheostomy tube inserted at the base of his neck to breathe. If it came out — which it sometimes did — they had less than two minutes to replace it.

As the Rankins recast their lives as parents of a medically demanding infant, one reassurance was that Nathaniel’s health care would be covered; as an adopted foster child, he could stay on the state’s Medicaid program. The Rankins would have to monitor Nathaniel’s many health problems, but they wouldn’t have to worry about whether they could afford to do so.

Now, though, the Rankins don’t feel so reassured. The Trump administration and congressional Republicans are weighing changes to Medicaid that could lead to cost savings and innovative reforms, but could also force states to cover fewer people and provide fewer services.

Read the full article from STAT here: https://www.statnews.com/2017/02/21/medicaid-nathaniels-story/