January Put People First! PA and the Nonviolent Medicaid Army launched our 2024 #MedicaidMondays where people post selfies and stories about what Medicaid means to them on social media. This year, as we ramp up our campaign to restore the Adult Dental Benefit to Medicaid in Pennsylvania, we’re also asking folks to share stories about their experience with accessing dental care with the hashtag #WeNeedOurTeeth. Here’s some of the stories we got in January.

Medicaid Monday story from Toby Staffieri, a Lancaster County resident and a member of the South Central Healthcare Rights Committee of Put People First! PA :

“January 14, 2022  my father Louis Staffieri passed away from covid which had turned into double pneumonia in both of his lungs. 

During the 4 days that he was in UPMC Lititz  hospital, he was in the ICU which is used for people who are very sickly. My father went to the hospital on January 10 and passed on the 14th, 4 days later. 

The death of my father should have never happened if the hospital treated him better than what they did. My dad’s insurance company would constantly not help pay for his heart meds, seizure meds and insulin for his diabetes he needed to survive.  

During my time in PPF-PA I learned that healthcare is a human right and everyone should have it from the time they are born to the time they pass away. 

I know that my dad didn’t have to die in the hospital from covid and pneumonia, and that if we had healthcare as a human right then we wouldn’t suffer so much. I hope that my story touches other people’s hearts and help us in the fight to make medicaid for all. 

If you or someone you love has been hurt by the denial of healthcare by this system, then I want you to get involved and join the Nonviolent Medicaid Army and Put People First! PA” 

Rica from Westmoreland County and a leader in the Put People First! PA Southwest Healthcare Rights Committee shares her Medicaid Monday story and experience that no one should have to go through! This is why we fight!

Rica says:

“This is what happens when you can’t get dental work like you’re supposed to and need to have your teeth pulled!”

Lauren from Blair County and a member of the Put People First! PA Central Appalachia Healthcare Rights Committee shares their Medicaid Monday story: 

“I never saw a dentist until I was almost 20 years old. Now I am almost 34 and still have not been able to have access to affordable dental care. Our teeth are one of the most important parts of our bodies and should not require special insurance to protect them! Healthcare is a human right!”

#medicaidmondays #Medicaid4All #WeNeedOurTeeth

Nicole from Luzerne County and a member of the Put People First! PA Northeast Healthcare Rights Committee shares their Medicaid Monday story!

“This is a reminder that the state will gladly neglect you to death if you let them. These are teeth that took 20 years to remove. When I tried to take care of the problem over two decades ago, I got a 1-800 number to find a dentist. I called, and when I hit the number for state insurance, it hung up. I called again to make sure, and it hung up again. It was years of pain and abscess, it was unbearable.

I hope y’all will join me to pressure our government for the bare minimum to keep us alive.”

Share your story to demand #Medicaid4All #WeNeedOurTeeth

Our stories unite us across all lines of division, they make the invisible visible, and they help us shift the distorted narrative on poverty. With Medicaid Mondays we tell our stories of struggle to get the healthcare we need and share why Medicaid is important to us, to someone we know, or to society as a whole. 

Put pressure on Gov. Shapiro and the legislature to get the Adult Dental Benefit fully restored and funded in 2024 and help fight the Medicaid cuts by sharing your story and joining the fight for our human right to all health care for ALL. 

To learn more and for instructions on how to make your on Medicaid Monday post click here.