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Reader: This bill is totally unreasonable 

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There were moments I was scared as an Army intelligence analyst, but it's nothing compared to the fear I face now with the health bill in Congress and the $700 billion in cuts it would unleash on Medicaid.

As a veteran, I'm scared of this bill because cutting Medicaid would make it harder for veterans to get the health care they need. Not every veteran qualifies for VA care — or they don't live near a VA facility. Some veterans and families rely on Medicaid for complicated health services. In fact, about 1.75 million veterans — almost one in 10 — have Medicaid as at least one source of coverage.

As a mother, I'm petrified because Medicaid coverage for my 15-year old son Ethan, who has Down syndrome and is on the autism spectrum, is at risk of being gutted. Medicaid is absolutely critical to getting the complex care he needs, and loss of that will devastate our military family. Ethan can't eat solid food, and Medicaid covers his feeding formula. Medicaid provides a stipend for me to stay home to provide his round-the-clock caregiving and respite care so my husband and I can spend an occasional afternoon out of the house, just the two of us, to nurture the commitment we have to each other and our son. All of this is a godsend because it means we can afford to give him the care he needs at home.

Don't be fooled; this bill is totally unreasonable. Veterans, their families, people with disabilities and all Coloradans deserve better. I beg Senators Cory Gardner and Michael Bennet to honor veterans by rejecting these drastic and cruel Medicaid cuts so my son can survive, I can go back to sleeping at night, and my fellow veterans can get the care they deserve.

— Silvia Earhart, Colorado Springs

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