Plan to end non-emergency Medicaid transportation is penny-wise, pound-foolish
Regarding the Nov. 26 Guest Expert column “Ending non-emergency rides to care for Medicaid patients would be counter-productive”
(p. 35), individuals who have always had access to transportation lack understanding of what it is like to not have it. Many of us can’t even walk five miles on a treadmill, and yet this policy proposal suggests that the children and ailing adults, those participating in Medicaid, shouldn’t have a problem obtaining their own transportation to keep medical appointments.
Shame, shame on being pennywise and pound-foolish.
The low-income condition of many individuals puts them at a disadvantage of being denied what we so often take for granted. Walking for exercise is one thing; walking to see the doctor or for outpatient care is far different. The use of Uber or Lyft requires a credit card for payment. Buses in some areas can be few in number and bus stops can be far apart. What do you do when dealing with wind, rain, snow or sun, with two or three small children in tow? What if your car breaks down, or you can’t afford gas or insurance for protection? These are only a few things that impede individuals when it comes to transportation.
If we are going to assist the less fortunate, then let’s do it right, or at least better than we have in the past. Let’s take a walk in their shoes before making dramatic agency changes regarding non-emergency transportation for Medicaid recipients.
Barbara Willis CEO Portsmouth (Va.) Community Health Center