Fifty two year old Sandra Broussard goes to her sister's thrift shop in Iowa to help out in exchange for a few clothes or other items she needs. Sandra suffers from emphysema and uses an inhaler to breathe better. She has other health problems she blames on a life of much physical labor. "Two degenerative discs. I have two spurs in my top two top vertebrae. I've got, right now I've got torn tissue in my right arm. I have problems with my hip and going into my leg I have a lot of pain."
Broussard depends on Medicaid for her health care. But she says her physician, who is a doctor of internal medicine, is fed up with Medicaid and warns he may drop her and other medicaid patients in March. "He told me that as of today he's no longer taking Medicaid patients 21 and under and as of March 16, depending on how his meeting goes with Medicaid, if things don't go right, then he's going to drop the rest of us from Medicaid."
Broussard understands her doctor is dissatisfied with the amount of payment they get for services rendered-- and she says her doctor complains Medicaid wants some of its money back. "He told me that they're treating them crummy. That they're demanding their money back. They're saying that they're doing less than what they're saying they're doing. And my doctor does everything for me. He gives me my medication. He tests my blood, he does all the blood work himself. He does all the X-rays himself. Any tests that need to be run he does them himself. I don't want to lose him, " said Broussard.
Broussard worries for herself and others if they have to find new doctors. "It's hard because I've called around to a lot of doctors and they tell me we're not taking patients over 21 years of age," said Broussard.
Broussard's doctor has a meeting set up with Medicaid. He told her after the meeting he'll decide whether to continue seeing Medicaid patients. State offices are closed today for the holiday so we'll have to follow up to see what medicaid officials have to say.