Meli and David used to live on the streets. Because their dogs were not allowed at the shelter, David would take of the dogs at night, and Meli would stay at the shelter. David would sleep during the day when Meli could keep an eye on him. A year ago, the Reno Initiative for Shelter and Equality (RISE) helped get David and Meli into a weekly motel, where they have been staying ever since. They are happy to have a roof over their head, a warm place to stay in the winter, and a supportive community around them. In thanks, they volunteer every week with RISE.

Meli and David

Due to their new found housing, David has been able to get a job with the TSA at the Reno-Tahoe airport. Meli is disabled and remains at home to care for their dogs. They both qualify for Medicaid.

“I have diabetes, high blood pressure, the list just goes on,” says Meli. “Medicaid covers my medications and my doctor’s visits.” David has had several heart attacks in the past, and remains at risk. Through their doctors at the Community Health Alliance and through the medical support they get thanks to Medicaid, they are able to manage their health conditions, allowing David to work and ensuring that their conditions do not deteriorate and require more intensive medical attention.

“I don’t need insulin yet,” said Meli, “let’s hope it stays that way.” Meli monitors her blood sugar and glucose levels through a glucometer, which she was able to obtain through Medicaid. This ensures that she remains healthy to the point where she does not need insulin injections.

Medicaid cuts could threaten the lives that Meli and David have built this past year. We must fight to ensure that the Senate and House do not pass a bill that will hurt Meli and David.

Every version of the bills introduced to cut, repeal, or replace Obamacare ends the Medicaid expansion and drastically cuts and caps the entire Medicaid program. This could ensure that people like Meli and David face severe cuts to their current health coverage. This would all be done to support a plan in which 99.6% of tax cuts go to the wealthiest 1% of households.

Meli and David should not face drastic threats to their finally stable lives in order to finance tax cuts for the wealthy. Please stand with Meli and David and oppose any healthcare bill that would threaten Medicaid.

This week’s Senate Repeal vote is critical and your calls matter!  Key moderate Republicans need to hear from faith leaders and constituents, including Senator Heller (NV). Use this number: 1-866-426-2631 and sample script.


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