I am by no means an expert on anything. However, I do know a little about a lot of things.
As I started navigating through the Medicare and Medicaid conundrum, I found myself in a relentless cycle of trying to locate documents that do not exist, gathering data that I really did not understand, and talking to countless people who, at the end of the day, really didn’t care.
My frustration involves my uncle, a man who's struggled with diabetes for decades. He made the decision not to take his medication properly and, as a result, he suffered a stroke that left the right side of his body paralyzed. Because of his diabetes, his blood flow was restricted, which resulted in him having his right leg amputated up to his knee. He lives in an assisted living facility in several states away.
To make matters worse, he also has a neurological disorder that causes him to have constant tremors. Simply raising food to his mouth is a challenge.
And to top it all off, he lost sight in his right eye.
My uncle has no children, he is not married, and he has never been in a relationship. My power of attorney status mean I went through all the bureaucracy associated with the application process for Medicaid. I gathered items, called people, emailed forms, and faxed documents. I was positive that, considering my uncle’s condition, this was all just a formality. After all, how could you deny assistance for anyone in his condition?
I mean, this type of assistance was created for people who were in his condition, right?
This week, I received notice from the state where he resides. “ELIGIBILITY DENIED,” the document declared.
Are you kidding me? How can such a need be denied?
Our system is so flawed that those who really need help cannot get it. There are a number of things broken in this country that truly need to be fixed. Help for the helpless, food for the hungry, shelter for those without shelter. It all makes sense to me, but I guess my sense is tainted. I think we should help each other when we can.
Most people are not looking for a handout, just a hand.