Max Lewis is a lawyer in Columbia. He's also quadriplegic and uses a program called Consumer Directed Services to hire in-home help with personal care. He sat down with Leslie Anderson, the director of policy and advocacy for Services for Independent Living.
They spoke about a significant change Missouri is likely making in how it supports people who need assistance to stay in their homes. In the past, if you were on Medicaid, the state would pay for someone to help an elderly or disabled person with personal care up to the cost to live in a nursing home.
Starting July 1, though, the state will only pay up to 60 percent of what it would cost to live in a nursing home. There are a very limited amount of waivers that would allow people to keep their full care, but these make up for a tiny fraction of the estimated 8,800 Missourians who need this kind of care.
For the rest, these changes may mean getting fewer hours of assistance or ending up in a nursing home.
Columbia resident Rene Powell spoke with her friend Traci Wilson-Kleekamp about what life has been like with a disability. They also spoke about how life has changed for Rene as her disabilities have become more visible - as she started using a walker recently to assist with her mobility.
Brothers Chuck and Drew Graham live in Columbia, Missouri, and both have been paralyzed for many years.They spoke about their issues with physical access in the Columbia community and about some of the tough decisions they are forced to make.
Chuck and Drew Graham's mother served as their role model growing up in Louisiana, Missouri. She helped them face the road ahead after they became paraplegic and quadriplegic within a year and a half of each other in their teenage years.
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